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Installation of GC Column: Step-by-Step Proces

Let me take you through the step-by-step process to help you through the installation process of GC column:


  • Gather all the necessary materials and tools before you start the installation process.
  • Allow the GC system to cool to a safe temperature.
  • Carefully inspect the new column for any signs of damage or defects.
  • Check that the column length matches your system's specifications.

Prepare the Column Inlet:

  • If a guard column or retention gap is required, install it first following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If the column inlet is not clean, you might need to clean it before installation.

Column Connectors and Ferrules:

  • Choose the correct column connectors and ferrules for your column and instrument.
  • Insert the ferrules into the column inlet ports. Once the nut and ferrule have been placed, a small section of the column needs to be removed. Hold the column between your index finger and thumb and scribe across the surface of the column with the cutting tool.

Column Installation:

  • Observe the correct installation depth when installing the column. You can find them in the GC manufacturer's manual.
  • Connect the column to the inlet first and screw the column nut in tight with your fingers. Then tighten the nut for a further turn with an open-ended jaw spanner so that the column cannot be pulled out of the fitting.
  • Turn the carrier gas up and set a suitable flow rate.
  • Check if the carrier gas flows through the column by immersing the free end of the column into a vessel containing solvent. A uniform stream of bubbles should appear.
  • Rinse the column at low temperature (40°C) with carrier gas for at least 5-10 min.
  • Insert the column into the detector. Proceed as described for the inlet and Check the system for leaks.

  • Condition the column for one to three hours 20°C above the final temperature of your temperature program or at the maximum working temperature of the column (depending on which temperature is lower).
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for column conditioning and system warm-up. This might involve heating the column to a specific temperature over a ramp for a designated period to remove any contaminants.
  • Once the heating ramp has started monitor the detector signal, it should initially increase and then gradually decrease until a flat baseline is observed.

Column Equilibration:

  • Allow the column to equilibrate at the desired temperature before performing any analysis.

System Verification:

  • After installation and equilibration, run system suitability tests or calibration standards.

Column storage:

  • When a column is not in use, it is recommended that column ends are sealed. Sealing column ends eliminates the possibility of contaminants and any other foreign material entering the column and causing long term damage.

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