Resource Guide

Transition to Helium Alternatives in Gas Chromatography

Debating a switch from helium to hydrogen or nitrogen? Explore the considerations with this comprehensive guide

With ongoing concerns about supply, cost, and sustainability of helium, increasing numbers of labs are considering a transition to alternative carrier gases for chromatography. 

Transition to Helium Alternatives in Gas Chromatography

The considerations for choosing a new carrier gas are complex, however. The first step involves comparing performance efficiency, speed, and resolution for the methods required. Nitrogen is often overlooked as a “slow gas,” though its use would be perfectly valid in multiple GC analyses. Hydrogen, on the other hand, is more efficient than helium at higher linear velocities and can often be run at the same linear velocity as helium for like-for-like analysis. Next, exploring the safety and cost of gas generators compared to cylinders helps to assess the feasibility of options. If a hydrogen generator offers the best solution, there are multiple technologies to choose from with varying challenges and benefits. Users can also check whether the standard methods they use have already been rewritten for hydrogen or nitrogen or if the methods need revalidation. Lastly, reviewing a full, step-by-step guide for conversion helps users anticipate any potential issues, enabling a smooth transition.

Download this comprehensive resource guide to learn more about:

  • The features of hydrogen and nitrogen as carrier gases in chromatography
  • Side-by-side performance comparisons against helium, including data for hydrocarbon, drugs, and explosives analyses
  • Relative cost and safety of nitrogen and hydrogen gas generators and cylinders
  • Which ASTM, USP, and EPA methods have been rewritten for hydrogen and nitrogen
  • How to simplify method revalidation for hydrogen
  • How hydrogen gas generators work and what you should know in choosing a technology
  • How to convert GC carrier gas from helium to hydrogen with a step-by-step guide
  • And many more considerations in a frequently asked questions section

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