Handbook on "old school" gas chromatography

Discussions about GC and other "gas phase" separation techniques.

18 posts Page 2 of 2
Harold McNair's book was the bible for all of us old folk. Basic Gas Chromatography. You want the first edition; it talks all about packed columns. When it was published capillary columns were still made out of glass, not fused silica, and only a handful existed.

You want a really inert support. Alumina and DE are too active. Firebrick is a really good, general inert support; you can still buy it. We used to acid wash it to get rid of the transition metals (activity).

I'm with James. I still have a couple of 5890s with manual gas control. I can run them in ways that the Agilent software finds inappropriate. Software engineers should not define what you can and cannot do with your machine!
Mark Krause
Laboratory Director
Krause Analytical
Austin, TX USA
Thanks for the suggestion! The cover seems familiar. I'll look for a copy!

I've received my 80/100 mesh sieves so I'm finally able to produce usable supports. Right now I'm focusing on bentonite clay, and ground unglazed ceramic tile. I've found articles describing both.

I'm gonna mess around with micropacked columns too, as I've bought a ton of 1/16" tubing. I've also found an article describing how to coat the walls of it to make mega-megabore PLOT columns.

Finally I'm working on an 8 kV DC power supply for a corona discharge ionization detector.

I'll try and keep you guys updated if you're interested.

Thanks for all the hints
FWIW, I maintain a handful of SRI/Buck 910s, which do have electronic pressure controls(not flow controls) but otherwise are pretty much as bare bones and basic as you can get in a GC. These are used for teaching labs, and in fact they will probably get ~200 injections each over the next two weeks.

The general design seems similar to what you're trying to achieve. We do on column injections with them-the needle just goes through the septum and into the glass wool at the start of the column.

Our standard column is a 6ftx1/8" Supelco CW-20M. I'm not entirely sure WHAT the packing is in it, but I have a couple of them cut open to use as teaching models. The stationary phase is very white, but otherwise looks and feels a lot like fine sand. It's a fair bit more course than the diatomaceous earth(Celite 545) I also buy by the bucket...

You have my admiration by doing this yourself. I had a professor in undergrad who always talked about making his own GC columns, and in fact his dissertation involved preparative GC on a 1/4" packed column that he'd packed himself.
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