Indexed on: 21 Jul '16Published on: 20 Jul '16Published in: Journal of Chromatography A
In this paper, a novel, and easy to perform, retention time locking procedure for locking primary and secondary retention times of detector signals in comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) dual-detection is proposed and its advantages are demonstrated and discussed. The dual detection retention time locking procedure is a 2-step process for a GCxGC system in which the effluent of the primary column is split, by using a pressure regulated splitter, towards the GCxGC modulator using two identical secondary GC columns of which one is installed in the main GC oven and the other is installed in a secondary GC oven. The first step of the locking procedure is to minimize the secondary retention time difference between both detectors of a compound, which has a retention factor (k) close to 0. This is done by stepwise altering the effective secondary column length, simply by sliding the secondary column, which is installed in the main oven, forwards or backwards through the modulator. The second step is to minimize the secondary retention time difference of a compound which has a significant retention in both dimensions. This is done by stepwise altering the secondary oven temperature rate. This locking procedure was successfully demonstrated for the analysis of a diesel sample by GCxGC coupled to a time of flight mass spectrometer (TOFMS) and a nitrogen chemiluminescence detector (NCD) and by GCxGC coupled to a TOFMS and a flame ionization detector (FID). For all compounds the average absolute secondary retention time differences between the NCD or the FID and the TOFMS detectors were 0.03, and 0.07 seconds, respectively, which are significantly less than the average peak widths at half heights, which was 0.2 seconds.