Let’s Talk: Carrier Gas
Is Hydrogen Under-utilized as a Carrier Gas?
There are plenty of resources online that suggest “best
practices” and “preferred equipment” to assist lab managers as they purchase
supplies and accessories for their workplace. Labs that regularly perform gas
chromatography (GC) testing demand carrier gas to feed their
equipment. But with various carrier gas options available, it is sometimes
tricky to quickly identify which is the proper fit for one’s needs.
Lab managers seeking carrier gas should first ask themselves
these two key questions:
- Delivered Gas VS. On-site Gas
Generators – which is right for me?
- Helium VS. Hydrogen VS. Nitrogen –
which do I prefer?
Delivered Gas VS. On-site Gas
Every lab is unique. Some labs require numerous gas
chromatographs to meet the demand of their testing. The more equipment you
require, the more gas you need. It’s simple really. However, purchasing bottled
gases is not without its headaches. Aside from being expensive and cumbersome,
users who opt for delivered gases are leaving their labs susceptible to price
increases, purity discrepancies, safety concerns and asphyxiation risks.
On-site gas generators are a reliable and safe solution to
provide your lab with high purity hydrogen and nitrogen gas for GCMS carrier
and FID applications. On-site gas generators produce the gas you need when you
need it with zero inventory. This alleviates the risks associated with storing
bottled gases. Gone are the hours spent swapping cylinders they no longer
clutter your lab when using on-site gas generators. Headaches from bottled gas
price volatility and supply disruptions are alleviated. A reliable gas
generator allows you to continue your lab operations and conduct your testing
Helium VS. Hydrogen VS.
In gas chromatography, there are 3 varieties of carrier
gas- helium, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Helium is certainly an excellent carrier
gas for gas chromatography applications. It delivers quick results and requires
little-to-no adjustment to your equipment. The downside is that Helium is
Hydrogen is a direct alternative for Helium in most
applications. It delivers faster results than helium and lab staff can achieve
the same accuracy with a few minor adjustments to their equipment. If risks
associated with the use of bottled hydrogen are weighing on your decision, then
consider the issue resolved. On-site gas generators produce the hydrogen
required in direct relation to the demand, making this equipment the most
effective solution to source carrier gas.
Nitrogen can be used in some GC testing as well. In this
instance, lab staff must adjust the column so the equipment can use
nitrogen. Nitrogen gas is much slower than hydrogen and helium, which
means your test results will take significantly longer. Nitrogen is very
affordable, but if you plan of running all of your GC equipment using nitrogen
reconsider, it is not compatible with all GC test methods.
Now You Know
Every lab is unique but when it comes to carrier gas you
have options. There are many requirements you should consider when evaluating a
carrier gas, to name a few: testing methods, equipment gas demand, lab size,
and purity requirements. For more information about on-site gas
generation and making the switch from helium to hydrogen please visit: http://www.ProtonOnSite.com
If you are in need of specialty
gases, on-site gas generation or any specialty gases or related equipment, PurityPlus
has a wide array of products to satisfy your needs. We also have the resources
and experts on hand to answer your questions and assist your needs. For more information, browse our online
catalog or contact us via our distributor
Kathleen Mullins, Marketing Communications Manager,
Proton OnSite | The Leader in OnSite Gas Generation
10 Technology Drive, Wallingford, CT 06492
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