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Gas chromatography is a term used to describe the group of analytical separation techniques used to analyze volatile substances in the gas phase. In gas chromatography, the components of a sample are dissolved in a solvent and vaporized in order to separate the analytes by distributing the sample between two phases: a stationary phase and a mobile phase. The mobile phase is a chemically inert gas that serves to carry the molecules of the analyte through the heated column. Gas chromatography is one of the sole forms of chromatography that does not utilize the mobile phase for interacting with the analyte. The stationary phase is either a solid adsorbant, termed gas-solid chromatography (GSC), or a liquid on an inert support, termed gas-liquid chromatography (GLC).

Gas chromatography is a physical separation method in where volatile mixtures are separated. It can be used in many different fields such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and even environmental toxins. Since the samples have to be volatile, human breathe, blood, saliva and other secretions containing large amounts of organic volatiles can be easily analyzed using GC. Knowing the amount of which compound is in a given sample gives a huge advantage in studying the effects of human health and of the environment as well.

Air samples can be analyzed using GC. Most of the time, air quality control units use GC coupled with FID in order to determine the components of a given air sample. Although other detectors are useful as well, FID is the most appropriate because of its sensitivity and resolution and also because it can detect very small molecules as well.

GC/MS is also another useful method which can determine the components of a given mixture using the retention times and the abundance of the samples. This method be applied to many pharmaceutical applications such as identifying the amount of chemicals in drugs. Moreover, cosmetic manufacturers also use this method to effectively measure how much of each chemical is used for their products.

Gas Chromatography


Gas Chromatography