• New cylinder-free auto-GC-FID range

Measurement and Testing

New cylinder-free auto-GC-FID range

Dec 19 2019

‘Please provide a reliable and certified results from an all-in-one unit without gas cylinders’. This was the design challenge that Chromatotec had to achieve to satisfy market expectations for VOC/hydrocarbon monitoring.

They succeeded by combining Gas Chromatography (GC) analysers with Flame Ionisation Detection (FID) to enable the analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) with exceptional sensitivity and linear response for a wide concentration of ranges (ppt to %) in automatic routine mode. When comparing lab GC-FID with auto-GC-FID, used in the field for online monitoring systems, users may be concerned about the on-site use of hydrogen(H2) and the complexity of cylinder management. Indeed, FID detectors require a H2/air flame and, in the case of cylinders, must be changed before complete exhaustion, or else risk interrupting analyses while also decreasing the usable amount of gas. In terms of safety, gas cylinders are bulky and heavy so personnel must be trained on how to move and secure them.

To solve these problems, H2and zero air gas generators are used, instead of cylinders, in the first fully-automatic, standalone, cylinder-free, auto-GC-FID system to be manufactured by Chromatotec. Designed for industrial applications, the performance of the cylinder-free auto-GC-FID system offers low cost of ownership as only distilled water and ambient air are needed! The integrated generators provide the FID’s total gas consumption requirements. (30 mL/min H2and 180 mL/min air). This system also gives operators improved safety because no compressed hydrogen cylinders are required. It operates with complete autonomy, the FID can be operated continuously, avoiding the need to change empty cylinders and they have an enhanced level of  sensitivity by using“Zero grade” gases without hydrocarbon impurities for lower noise level and greater column protection. The analyser and both generators are housed in a space saving all-in-one wall-mounted cabinet. Chromatotec’s auto-GC FID system performs multi-stream analysis (channelled/surface/ambient). Operators have a custom-designed analyser with an integrated multiplexer sampling device to provide inlet/outlet process monitoring with full traceability for each stream analysed. This unit is surprisingly easy to operate, the measurement system performance evaluation is completed with internal calibration using NIST traceable permeation tube technology to provide automatic data validation. This fully automatic, user-friendly system does not require specialised personnel to operate. Users only need to ensure that there is a reliable power supply and to set up proper sampling lines to successfully operate it.

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