Gas chromatography (GC) was at one time commonly called “GLC,” where the “L” stands for liquid. Inside GC columns are particles of a ceramic or inert material coated with an extremely viscous liquid stationary phase that interacts with the analyte. By contrast, HPLC stationary phases are bonded to the base material. GC is a common technique used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a GC System

1. What factors come into play when determining the GC system specifications you require in terms of cycle time, enhanced operator benefits, increased productivity and flexibility for specific applications?

2. What differentiates the vendor’s GC system from others offered, in terms of performance?

3. How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?

4. Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?

5. What are important price points to keep in mind when selecting a GC system?

6. Laboratories need fast and effective services, including an effective distribution of instruments, spare parts, education, and service personnel. How does the company serve these needs worldwide?

The problems our readers experience with their GC systems, according to our latest survey data:

Short column lifetime 23%
Interactions with sample or solvent 22%
Low reproducibility after changing columns/batches 18%
Low repeatability 11%
Lack of support from vendor 11%
Poor documentation 7%
Pressure increase 6%
Other 3%

Related gas chromatograph components respondents are using in their labs:

Autosampler 24%
Data system 24%
Regulators, valves, fittings 22%
Headspace sampler 11%
Purge & trap 10%
Gas generator 8%

Top ten features / factors that are important to respondents in the decision-making process for a new GC system:

Accuracy 96%
Availability of supplies and accessories 83%
Ease of maintenance 85%
Easy transfer of methods 84%
Price 85%
Quality of data 92%
Resolution 85%
Ruggedness and reliability 87%
Sensitivity 89%
Service and support 90%

Recently Released GC systems

SCION™ Series
• Features a data acquisition speed of >600 Hz per channel
• Comes standard with a 9 inch, multi-language touch-panel • SCION 436-GC is a compact 2 injectors, 2 detectors, platform that supports all the injectors and detectors including mass spectrometry
• SCION 456-GC supports 3 injectors and 4 detectors, including the mass spectrometer


• Offers the resolving power of a GCxGC system combined with advanced ChromaTOF® software
• Increases efficiency and productivity for samples that are too complex for a single-channel detector system
• Flame Ionization Detector (FID), Electron Capture Detector (ECD), or Sulfur Chemiluminescence Detector (SCD) models available


6850 Series II
• Includes simple operation: select from six buttons on the front panel to view instrument status, choose one of five methods, and start or stop the analysis
• Features easy column replacement: unique topopening lid allows safe, unobstructed access to column connections at the inlet and detector
• Wide choice of detectors and other options


GC Column Configurator
• iPhone and iPad optimized
• Enables users to choose the appropriate column for their chromatographic specifications
• Easy to use; just enter the current part number or column dimensions

Thermo Fisher Scientific

GC System Manufacturers

Buck Scientific
CDS Analytical
Forston Labs
OI Analytical
Parker Balston
Teledyne Tekmar
Thermo Fisher Scientific