A Brief Overview of Gas-Liquid Chromatography and Its Everyday Uses


Nowadays, almost everything around you goes through several analytical methods, from formulating medicines to implementing new laws.

Likewise, many compounds need to be analyzed when it comes to chemical separation procedures like gas-liquid chromatography. Known as the center of various analytical techniques and lab testings, the chromatography methods exploit various potential analytes relevant to many useful purposes.


How It Works

Separating analytes through gas-liquid chromatography relies on the compound’s properties, physical and chemical, of the sample. Whether it is solid, gas, or liquid, it requires different preparation steps before using the gas chromatography instrument.

For the gas chromatography to occur, the analyte has to be volatile enough to go through the system. However, to prevent degradation during the procedure, it has to be thermally stable. Usually, the method is applied to organic molecules.

The mobile phase is when an inert carrier gas presents the samples to the gas chromatography instrument. Then, the sample will vaporize because it will be heated in the process. The vaporized sample, which is in the carrier gas, will go through the stationary phase.

The chemical components will have interactions to separate the sample based on their chemical and physical properties. Various stationary phases can be used, which primarily depend on the analytes of interest.

The gas chromatography detector will record how fast the analytes’ interaction is removed from the column in the stationary phase. In the technique of gas-liquid chromatography, there are a variety of detectors that can be utilized.

Uses Of Gas-Liquid Chromatography

The separation caused by gas-liquid chromatography provides sensitivity, speed, and simplicity for determining chemical components found in complex mixtures. Therefore, it is known as a valuable technique in different areas of applications.

Drug Formulation

In formulating a medicine, gas chromatography is an essential instrument guaranteeing the quality, purity, and safety of components and the final product that has been released in the market. There is a high possibility that there may be the residue of solvents utilized in the formulation process left in the drug.

Gas-liquid chromatography is a common tool for the detection of such irregularities in the product. In most drug recalls published in headlines, they emphasize using the analyses to ensure the medicines’ safety.

Consumer Products

Personal care items that are indirectly used, like lotions, cosmetics, colognes, toiletries, should go through a testing process to confirm that they are safe and have no trace of harmful components used during the products’ production procedure.

Petroleum Sector

Crude oil, which has many compounds sheltering a massive scale of trends and chemical properties, is an ideal example of complex analytes. Gas chromatography is the primary tool in every phase, from inspecting to testing and producing the finished products and ensuring it complies with the environment’s regulations and the industry.

Food Sector

There are different aspects of analytical testing requisites in the food sector, including safety, authenticity, and quality factors. Moreover, manufacturers aim to develop their products and make them interesting to consumers without spending too much and simplifying the procedures. Learning the chemical process involved in food and beverages is essential for its research and development department.

To detect any unusual and harmful components, even at low concentrations, requires an appropriate detection technique, which is what gas-liquid chromatography is known for. It can determine organic compounds and separate them from complex mixtures and even other ingredients like minerals, acids, and lipids.

Furthermore, it allowed detecting traces of dangerous components such as pesticides in infant food to insecticides present in eggs. Gas chromatography lessened the downtime and enhanced the system’s stability, which is crucial in most food testing environments.

Also, chemicals like dioxins, typically present in the food chain, can be identified and detected by the gas chromatography technique. Food analysis requirements go further even when the food has been neatly packed and sent to the market.

There are still potential contaminants that can be carried to the packaging, another relevant area that gas chromatography can use.

Water can be a potential contamination element, and its purity and cleanliness are crucial to the environment and the public. It requires water testing procedures conducted and various points in distinct areas.

Sadly, the disinfection procedure also has a risk of presenting harmful components. Hence, applying gas-liquid chromatography for effective testing is imperative.