Archive for the ‘Lab Hacks’ Category

Over tightening your fittings has consequences.

If you use the correct fittings and seals in the gas chromatography system, and follow some simple steps, there is absolutely no need to over tighten any fitting to achieve a leak free seal. For almost all fittings that use seals in a GC system, whether they are ferrules, septa or o-rings, the tightening process […]

LC Preventative Maintenance Tips and Tricks – The UltraShield

We’re providing a creative trick for extending guard cartridges and column lifetimes.  This preventative maintenance consumable also acts as a handy troubleshooting tool for problematic back pressure readings.  Drum roll….The UltraShield! https://www.restek.com/pdfs/730-70-003.pdf Normally, the UltraShield is used as an affordable UHPLC pre-column filter and takes the place of a guard column.  These filters have minimal […]

How Can You Make Food Homogenization Less of a Grind?

Sample preparation of a food matrix is only as good as the initial homogenization of your sample.  This determines how representative and effective your extraction will be.  There are multiple ways to homogenize, grind or comminute your sample.  Some involve a simple grind in a food processor.  Other methods require expensive instrumentation to cryogenically freeze […]

My fitting nut has broken off in the end of my LC column. What to do?

If excessive force is applied at an angle to a fitting or column connector, the ferrule could become stuck in the column end fitting. Likewise, a PEEK connector, column nut or plug can also break and leave part of it in the end fitting. Stainless steel nuts are much harder to break, although a stainless […]

FAMEs blog part 4: Struggling with using hydrogen for AOCS methods Ce 1j-07 or Ce 1h-05?

This blog a part of a series: part 1, part 2, and part 3 Recently I came across customers’ issue with AOCS method Ce 1h-05 used with hydrogen as a carrier gas and I’ve decided to look more closely into what conditions are suggested for this analysis. While at it, I looked also into conditions of methods […]

FAMEs blog part 3: If I Use a Rt-2560 with my GC-MS will it explode?

This blog a part of a series: part 1, part 2, and part 4 Disclaimer: Do not use non-bonded columns, such as Rt-2560, in GC-MS for routine analysis! If you have the need to run some samples, here is what to expect (i.e. quite a bit of bleed) In my last blog, I talked about how […]

Are My Shut-off Valves Contaminated?

Shut-off valves provide a convenient means to control gas flows and are often used in conjunction with gas chromatography systems.  There are several types of shut-off valves including ball valves, plug valves, and diaphragm-sealed valves.  Some of these valves, ball and plug valves included, use a silicone-based lubricant to make opening and closing the valve […]

How (Not) To Cut Your Capillary Column

There are numerous ways to cut a capillary column. Restek has several tools to accomplish this job. There are sapphire scribes, ceramic scoring wafers, wafers with a handle, and diamond blade column cutters. There are also some tools manufactured by other companies that will cut a capillary column. The choice is typically personal preference. No […]

How can I use Raptor columns and the EXP Direct connect holder with stainless steel fittings?

Some customers may find themselves with this scenario. You have an HPLC instrument with existing stainless steel tubing and fittings and you are getting ready to install a Raptor column. The end of your tubing may very well look like the one shown above. Here are some questions you might have.   Can I attach […]

It May be Hot Outside, but Your Headspace Analysis Can Still Suffer from the Cold

Summer days are my favorite – hot, sunny, and full of fun. But one thing that’s really not fun is trying to track down contamination and/or carryover in your headspace-GC (HS-GC) system. I get questions about this topic pretty regularly, so I thought I would post a blog on the most common culprit for contamination […]