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Considerations When Selecting a Gas Chromatography System

Gas Chromatography

Six questions to ask when buying a GC system for your lab, how to determine which configuration is best for your application, and recent trends

by Lab Manager
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Shimadzu Nexis GC-2030 Gas Chromatograph, 

Gas chromatography is an analytical chemistry technique used to identify and quantitate the compounds in a mixture that can be vaporized without decomposing. The simplicity and sensitivity of this method means that it is widely used for applications such as drug testing, analyzing essential oils, and breaking down food samples. For a list of gas chromatography system manufacturers, see our online directory:

6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Gas Chromatography System:

  1. What columns will you need for your sample type?
  2. What detector is best suited to your application?
  3. What is your throughput and would an autosampler improve your efficiency?
  4. Will you be pairing gas chromatography with mass spectrometry?
  5. How easy is the system to use and what software is available for analysis?
  6. Would a used gas chromatography system be a better fit for your budget?


In this Ask the Expert Q&A, Lab Manager speaks with two experts about the evolution of gas chromatography instruments, some of the challenges of developing new, innovative gas chromatography equipment, and the role automation has played in development: 

Purchasing Tip

Gas chromatography systems can be configured in many different ways depending on the application. To find the right fit for your lab, consider speaking with your service engineer during their next visit to the lab as they conduct maintenance or repair on your existing GC. Application notes from GC vendors are also available and can help identify the appropriate configuration.