When working with delicate scientific instruments, there are processes of cleaning, testing, and calibration to ensure its accuracy. An inaccurate or imprecise device is practically useless for scientific study. So, why is column conditioning important in gas chromatography?
Primes Columns for Use
When a column is new or coming out of long-term storage, you need to prime it before use. Many columns come preconditioned, making your job easier. However, it is still essential to condition it to your elevation and needs. Priming columns before use ensures a minimal level of baseline noise in the chromatogram. Though the process takes several hours and can last overnight, it will save you time on the back end from redoing tests.
Eliminates Any Contaminants
Scientists use gas chromatographs for all kinds of tests, often cycling from one set of samples to another. When between trials, it is critical to eliminate all leftover contaminants from previous tests. Otherwise, the new tests could yield inaccurate results that skew the data and render all conclusions meaningless. Pollutants can also seep into the gas column during storage if not sealed properly. Any columns coming out of long-term storage need conditioning to eliminate contaminants from the air in the storage area.
Avoids Column Bleed
Column bleed is the baseline signal given by the stationary phase in chromatographical analysis. When there is significant column bleed, the chromatogram appears skewed. These data variations make it quite challenging to calculate meaningful information from the graph. Conditioning columns in gas chromatography machines yields more reliable and consistent results, which every lab technician wants.
A coworker may ask you, “Why is column conditioning important in gas chromatography?” Now, you have the answer at your fingertips and can show a meaningful difference in your work due to the conditioning. Always remember to condition new and stored columns before use to avoid problems. If you have any questions about your gas chromatograph or are looking for new machines, reach out to us at GenTech Scientific today.