Articles and Applications
Worldwide helium demand far exceeds current production levels. For many gas chromatography applications, the switch to hydrogen is painless. What’s stopping you?
Many labs are facing helium supply difficulties and rapid price increases as a result of the helium shortage. Lab managers are therefore looking for alternative carrier gases and for many GC applications, hydrogen provides an excellent alternative to helium. Using a hydrogen generator can supply gas to a whole lab and at the same time remove the danger of storing hydrogen in the lab. Laboratories that switch gas supply from helium to hydrogen can see a number of benefits including reduced overheads, faster throughput and even improved separations.
Detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA) is a separation technique used by a variety of laboratories involved in the petrochemical industry for analysis and identification of individual components as well as for bulk hydrocarbon characterisation of a particular sample. Bulk analysis looks at gasoline composition in terms of PONA components (Paraffins, Olefins, Naphthalenes and Aromatics) and other fuels in the C1-C13 range since this gives an indication of overall quality of the sample.
As the cost and scarcity of helium rises, laboratories have begun to convert methods to hydrogen carrier gas.
The Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) detector is the most commonly used detector in Gas Chromatography with around 90% of GCs equipped with at least one. The FID can be used in almost any organic analysis, and is sensitive down to the parts-per-billion (PPB) range, which is the reason for its widespread use in GC analysis in areas from oil and gas, to food and pharmaceuticals.