• How to automate the fraction collection after a GC analysis?

Analytical Instrumentation

How to automate the fraction collection after a GC analysis?

Sep 19 2023

There are several techniques to fractionate and trap analytes after a Gas Chromatographic (GC) analysis, but these limit the number of fractions to be collected.
A new fractionation platform: the GC-Fractionator is now available that collects up to 384 fractions of a GC separation and also enables a parallel detection to correlate each fraction with analytical information. This platform is based on a post-column infusion of a preheated volatile solvent. After condensation the fractions are automatically collected as a liquid in sample vials.

Post-Column Fractionation

The GC-Fractionator system, introduced by Da Vinci Laboratory Solutions, consists of two parts: a GC and a Liquid Chromatography (LC) pump. A sample is injected into the GC and separated with a capillary column. The effluent is routed to a three-way connector. This splits a small portion of the sample to a Flame Ionization Detector (FID) for detection. The vast majority goes to a second splitter for fractionation. Here, the carrier gas containing analytes from the GC is mixed with a vaporized solvent –for example hexane– that flows out of the LC pump. This mixture is condensed in a transfer line located outside the GC oven.
As the mixture condenses, the fractions can be collected as liquid in different vials or well plates.
A time-based program controls the movement of the GC-Fractionator tool, positioned in the sampler head and automates the collection of each fraction either to a vial, a well position of the well plate or to waste. The Da Vinci dedicated special software visualizes where the fraction of interest is situated in the vials.

Two Dimensional Preparative GC Application

The GC-Fractionator uses a very straightforward technology that allows the collection of large numbers of fractions during a GC run. The technology has proven to be robust for environmental and fragrance applications. Several GC-Fractionator systems are used by several flavor and fragrance companies in the Netherlands to isolate interesting volatile components from raw materials present in very low concentrations. Crucial to their preparative GC, especially for fragrance applications, is automation. Not so long ago the collection of the fractions was done manually, but this approach is time consuming. The GC-Fractionator, where you dissolve the peak as well by condensing the volatile substance, automatically collects those fractions.
A new configuration of the GC-Fractionator is based on two GCs. This configuration offers several advantages over a single preparative GC, such as a shorter process time and an improved resolution. Download the complete article on the fragrance application on two dimensional preparative GC.

Key Features of the GC Fractionator:

  • A robust and automated GC fractionation platform;
  • Fractionation of complete chromatograms;
  • Multiple injections for repeated fractionation in the same wells or vials to increase the concentration of the individual compounds;
  • Dedicated software visualizes where the fraction of interest is situated in the vial or well;
  • Solvent safety system detects a possible solvent leak in the GC oven.

Contact Da Vinci for more information.

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