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2014 Gas Chromatography Product Survey Results

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.

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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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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)32%
Thermal conductivity (TCD)14%
Electron capture (ECD)15%
Flame photometric (FPD)5%
Photo-ionization (PID)3%
Hall electrolytic conductivity1%
Mass spectrometer24%
Don't know1%

GC-related components used by survey respondents:

Data system24%
Purge & trap11%
Gas generator9%
Headspace sampler11%
Regulators, valves, fittings21%

Nearly 44% of respondents plan on purchasing a GC system in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Addition to existing systems, increase capacity 
Upgrading existing GC-MS system
Require more sensitivity
Require shorter run times/increased lab throughput
Setting up a new lab
Require higher quality data
Trying to reduce operating costs
Require greater mass stability
Require Retention-Time Locking (RLT) ready

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

Quality of data88%
Ruggedness and reliability76%
Availability of supplies and accessories68%
Precise and accurate flow rates67%
Service and support65%

Completed Surveys: 260

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

See the most recent survey results