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2015 Gas Chromatography Product Survey Results

See the results of our 2015 survey to see respondents' purchasing plans, the most common GC detectors, and more

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Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Gas chromatography (GC) is a common technique used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. GC is typically used for separating the different components of a mixture, improving the purity of a particular substance, or identifying a particular compound. GC is a ubiquitous technique, and the various GC instruments available are designed to achieve every requirement of the technique.

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?

Types of GC detectors used by survey respondents:

Flame ionization (FID) 72%
Mass spectrometer 64%
Electron capture (ECD) 34%
Thermal conductivity (TCD) 25%
Photo-ionization (PID) 9%
Nitrogen-phosphorus 8%
Flame photometric (FPD) 8%
Don't know 2%
Hall electrolytic conductivity 1%
Other 6%

GC-related components used by survey respondents:

Autosampler 75%
Data system 78%
Purge & trap 29%
Gas generator 35%
Headspace sampler 40%
Regulators, valves, fittings 72%

Nearly 52% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new GC system. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a GC system:

Quality of data 84%
Accuracy 82%
Sensitivity 71%
Ruggedness and reliability 68%
Precise and accurate flow rates 67%
Resolution 66%
Ease of maintenance 63%
Safety 60%
Service and support 53%
Price 53%

For more information on GC systems, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results