Author Archive

Which Source Configuration is Right for your Application?

If you have an Agilent 5973, 5975, or 5977 mass spec, there is a simple change to the configuration you can make to optimize its performance. By default, these systems come with a 3 mm drawout plate (or extraction lens) in their source assemblies. According to the manufacturer, this 3 mm lens is ideally suited for […]

Chemstation 101: Quickly Update Your Retention Time Windows Using the Run Times Provided by the EZGC Method Translator

Jason, Jack and Michelle have all recently posted on using the EZGC Method Translator. Whether you are changing carrier gasses or performing column trimming maintenance (while maintaining the same elution profile), you can quickly adjust all your compound retention times using the Global Update feature built into MSD ChemStation. The following screenshots show where to […]

The MXT®-Union is a good alternative to the fused silica Press-Tight® connector

Many of you are familiar with the fused silica universal press-tight connector, which is available in both straight and -Y- configurations. You are probably also aware that these press-tight connections are likely to develop leaks if they are frequently cycled above 300 degrees. Fortunately for those of you running high temperature applications, the MXT-Union is […]

Chemstation 101 – Restoring a Previous Tune File

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, and I’m in Alpharetta, Ga this week attending the Agilent MassHunter Data Analysis class. Let’s say I’ve been inspired by the data acquisition review. A few months back, Jason wrote about a way to reset his 5973 acquisition software after the tuning macro loses […]

Something to think about before you buy antimicrobial soaps

Environmental Science and Technology (EST) published an interesting feature article to the web earlier this month about the immediate need to strictly regulate the use of two common household antimicrobials, triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC). I’m not really a germaphobe, nor have I ever really paid attention to antimicrobial soaps or their ingredients. I was genuinely shocked to discover the types […]

Analyzing for (4-Methylcyclohexyl)methanol (MCHM) in Source and Finished Drinking Waters

I got my hands on the new MCHM custom standard Chas blogged about Tuesday and performed some test runs yesterday. There are 2 isomers of the compound in the standard (cis and trans), referred to as isomer I and isomer II below because I don’t know the elution order. After injecting the 1 PPM standard […]

Reduce Helium Consumption by Using Nitrogen Purge Gas for VOCs in Drinking Water

Hazardous waste and waste water laboratories have been saving helium and money using nitrogen as a purge gas for quite a while when performing EPA Methods 8260 and 624 respectively. Until recently, this has not been an option for EPA Method 524, the measurement of purgeable organics in drinking water. I know many drinking water […]

Solvent Focusing – The Key to Successfully Implementing CSR-LVSI

It’s been over a month since my last post on Concurrent Solvent Recondensation – Large Volume Splitless Injection (CSR_LVSI), so I thought I would cover solvent focusing, a key element of the technique, today. The CSR-LVSI solvent peak widths are minutes larger than those seen in a typical 1 µL injection. Figure 1 shows the difference in solvent […]

Chemstation 101 – Dealing with Mass Defect in Low Resolution Scan Mode

While working on optimizing a rapid semivolatiles screening application meant for very low levels (0.1 – 6 ng on column), we noticed that the heavily chlorinated compounds had poorly defined peaks in the Qedit window, but appeared to have good responses when viewing the total ion chromatogram (TIC). Using pentachlorophenol (PCP) as an example, when the target ions are viewed, […]

Rapid Screening For Semivolatile Compounds – 144 Compounds in Less than 9 minutes

Last week, I attended Enviro Analysis 2013 in Toronto, Canada with Michelle. She presented a poster highlighting her BFR column trimming work, and gave an oral presentation on some results from a Spring Creek sediment study (a local fly-fisherman’s paradise) done in conjunction with Penn State, featuring the new Rxi-PAH column. I presented a poster featuring the very low detection […]