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Gas chromatography with simultaneous detection: Ultraviolet spectroscopy, flame ionization, and mass spectrometry

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 00:18 authored by Gras, R, Luong, J, Paul HaddadPaul Haddad, Robert ShellieRobert Shellie

An effective analytical strategy was developed and implemented to exploit the synergy derived from three different detector classes for gas chromatography, namely ultraviolet spectroscopy, flame ionization, and mass spectrometry for volatile compound analysis. This strategy was achieved by successfully hyphenating a user-selectable multi-wavelength diode array detector featuring a positive temperature coefficient thermistor as an isothermal heater to a gas chromatograph. By exploiting the non-destructive nature of the diode array detector, the effluent from the detector was split to two parallel detectors; namely a quadrupole mass spectrometer and a flame ionization detector.

This multi-hyphenated configuration with the use of three detectors is a powerful approach not only for selective detection enhancement but also for improvement in structural elucidation of volatile compounds where fewer fragments can be obtained or for isomeric compound analysis. With the diode array detector capable of generating high resolution gas phase spectra, the information collected provides useful confirmatory information without a total dependence on the chromatographic separation process which is based on retention time. This information-rich approach to chromatography is achieved without incurring extra analytical time, resulting in improvements in compound identification accuracy, analytical productivity, and cost. Chromatographic performance obtained from model compounds was found to be acceptable with a relative standard deviation of the retention times of less than 0.01% RSD, and a repeatability at two levels of concentration of 100 and 1000 ppm (v/v) of less than 5% (n = 10).

With this configuration, correlation of data between the three detectors was simplified by having near identical retention times for the analytes studied.


Publication title

Journal of Chromatography A








School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier Science Bv

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Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences