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CHROMtalks - Hidden Errors and Mistakes that Make Your GC Results Look Better than They Really Are

Always known for high resolution and sensitivity, gas chromatography has evolved into one of the simplest and most automated instrumental techniques in use today. Just as one can learn chess in an afternoon, so can one be up and running on most modern gas chromatographs in a few hours. Also as in chess, gas chromatography takes a lifetime to master. This keynote presentation will begin our CHROMtalks “Under the Hood” symposium by featuring feature a few areas in which, despite automation and simplicity, gas chromatography operators still need some mastery. We will see that mastery of gas chromatography includes not only running the instrument but handling and injecting the samples and analyzing the data. We will examine instrument sensitivity and detection limits, use some thinking about experimental uncertainty to examine quantitative analysis and retention times, and then think about hidden uncertainties arising from sample handling. We will then link this conversation to the remaining talks going “under the hood“ of gas chromatography in the rest of the session.

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