Troubleshooting a Gas ChromatographTroubleshooting a Gas Chromatograph
In getting or buying a gas chromatograph, it is not just the warranty that the company is giving that is needed to make you decide to buy from them. It is significant to check on how fast the firm could react on technical queries and technical assistance that they could provide in case the device need some repairs. A user’s training should also be required in order to pass on the technology to the end user.
While it is quite risky to check all by your self the gas chromatograph, it is also worthy to take note some steps or procedures in doing the troubleshooting in case a problem occurs. The machine is quite sensitive, thus any problem occurs should be addressed properly. A technical assistance of course will always be available but before going further, it is significant to find out initially what type of problem has to be addressed. This will somehow save you on calling a technical assistance right away which might entail some cost.
Some of the problems of a gas chromatograph can be classified in different categories. Problems may include disturbances in baseline, irregular peak shapes and sizes, deterioration of columns, resolution loss and a lot more.
Here are some steps to do the troubleshooting. Just like any other electronic device, do the initial checking for loose connections if you encounter some problem with gas chromatograph. Check also if the detector is dirty. If this would be the case, simply clean the detector. The procedures in cleaning the detector are available in the user’s manual or product manual. Check also the column and check if properly installed. You can also invest for a leak detector kit which will be very helpful in finding leaks.
You may also opt to check the injector. If this has not been connected properly, this may result to irregular peaks in shape or in size. Irregularities in shape or size may also be caused by inappropriate detector, the carrier gas flow is low, the injector ratio is too high or a column is broken. You can also check first all the settings to ensure that they are functioning properly.
The carrier gas flow, the linear velocity and column temperature should also match. Thus, it is safe to ensure that everything is set according to the program of the gas chromatograph.
In case that there is a problem in loss resolution, try rinsing the column with solvent. Some compounds are stuck and contaminate the column, thus, removing these will smoothen the flow in the column.
For quantification difficulties, make sure that injection techniques are consistent. Any inconsistency with the split ratio or activation in split less injection may cause problems in quantification.
It’s still best to have the gas chromatograph properly maintained. A regular preventive maintenance and cleaning will help lessen the burden.