Gas Chromatography (GC)
Gas chromatography is the standard method for the separation and quantitation of volatile components in a mixture. The sample is vaporized and transported through a column by a flow of gas (usually helium). The components are separated from each other on the basis of their affinity for the stationary phase. Components with higher affinities for the stationary phase spend more time there and as a result they take longer to travel the length of the column. In this manner the components of a complicated mixture can be separated and detected free from interference from each other. We currently have 2 Shimadzu Gas Chromatographs (GC) with TCD detector (purchased in 2006 and used primarily in the sophomore labs) and an HP 5890 with FID and TCD detectors used in analytical chemistry courses and research.