Archive for 2010

Finally! A True Peak Capacity Increase for GCxGC

An ongoing controversy in comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) is whether a true peak capacity increase has ever been achieved. You can read all about it in the article cited below, but in summary, Blumberg et. al state that a properly optimized one-dimensional (1D) GC system produces higher peak capacities than an improperly optimized GCxGC […]

Speed Optimized Flow and Optimal Heating Rate in Gas Chromatography

Leon Blumberg and Matt Klee have written some excellent articles on optimization of gas chromatography for flow and oven temperature programming that seem to have flown largely under the radar of many (most?) practicing gas chromatographers. I’ve put two significant references below on Speed Optimized Flow (SOF) and Optimal Heating Rate (OHR) that I think […]

Overview of the development of PLOT columns

I was invited by Ron Majors to submit a historical overview of the development of the PLOT column. As there have been many scientific publications around this topic, I tried to write the development of capillary columns from personnel experiences in the laboratory, starting with glass capillary columns, introduction of the fused silica column and […]

Journey to the Center of the Earth: Mponeng

My friend and colleague, Professor Ernst Breet at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, arranged for a very special trip to the Mponeng Mine for us recently. Mponeng (which means “Look at Me” in the local African language) is the world’s deepest gold mine. After a brief induction, we each donned coveralls, boots, eye and […]

Low-Pressure System: Gas Chromatography, Not Weather… Synthetic Cannabis

We have a very bright guy named Jaap de Zeeuw who works for Restek. Years ago he invented a system for low-pressure gas chromatography by where he used a 0.53mm GC column attached to a mass spectrometer, and a restrictor column (e.g. 0.50m x 0.10mm) press-fitted to that column and installed in a split/splitless GC […]

QuEChERS Workshops in South Africa

One of the best things about working at Restek is their commitment to continuing education for chromatographers, both inside and outside of their doors. This takes many forms, including the seminars produced by Rick Parmely, our Training Director, and through other efforts like the QuEChERS workshops I’m currently doing in South Africa. In the last […]

Why pay for Technical Support if you can have at least the same as a Free Service from Chromatography Specialists?

Many laboratories experience the same challenge:  They have many chromatographic applications running with their GC and LC systems, and as long as there is no problem, everything is fine. Trouble starts when a problem is observed and data looks “different”.. At that point troubleshooting will start and an experienced user has to look at the […]

Good night, Sleep tight; don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite!

When my parents tucked me in at night with this little saying, I never thought bed bugs actually existed.  Now it seems news articles about the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States are being published at an alarming frequency.   Although bed bugs have actually been around since the 1700’s most had been wiped […]

When your data goes BOING! An electrifying tale of FID troubleshooting!

Recently my colleagues were performing dual inlet/column/detector analyses of 2,4-dinitrophenol (2,4-DNP) using flame ionization detectors (FID) in an Agilent 6890 gas chromatograph.  They noticed something odd.  The results from the front side were considerably lower and less reproducible than those observed from the back, even though they were essentially set up the same way.  Bah!  […]

The Disappearance of the Honeybee: Can we Solve Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?

Adult worker bees leave the hive and never return. Since honeybees cannot live without the colony they inevitably die. The hive has plenty of honey stored, the queen is in good health, and there appears to be no invasion from robbing bees, beetles or moths. Yet the colony is nearly empty. Mysterious bee die-offs are […]