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Gas chromatography is an instrumental technique for separating components of a mixture based on their boiling point, polarity, and affinity to a gas chromatography column. Since samples must be vaporized prior to analysis by GC, this technique is commonly used for analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds such as solvents, fuels, most CWAs, pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, and other chemicals that are thermally stable over the temperature range used for the analysis. GC is not generally applicable for materials with boiling points greater than 300ºC or for materials that decompose at high temperatures.

When combined with appropriate detectors, GC is one of the most sensitive analytical techniques available for the separation, detection, and identification of unknown chemicals, with detection limits typically in the ppm-ppt range, depending on the detector used. Some of the most common detectors used in combination with GC are:

  • Mass Selective Detection
  • Flame Photometric Detection
  • Photoionization Detection
  • Electron Capture Detection
  • Flame Ionization Detection

GC instruments are typically benchtop models. More recently, fieldable instruments have become more common. Fieldable instruments range from those designed to be mounted in vehicles to hand-held devices. GC instrumentation is available from several manufacturers worldwide, with system costs ranging widely from $15,000 to $50,000+.

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3000 Micro GC

3000 Micro GC


The 3000 Micro GC is designed for near real time monitoring of gas streams, primarily for energy and...

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4500 zNose

4500 zNose

Electronic Sensor Technology, Inc.

Employing a trap and helium carrier gas, the Model 4500 injects samples into a heated column where s...

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6850 Series II Network GC

6850 Series II Network GC

Agilent Technologies

The 6580 is a small GC for laboratories where bench space, ease of use, and independent channel flex...

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CDS Analytical, Inc.

Combination system for analysis if air, liquid, and solid samples in the field for detection of CWAs...

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Seer Technology, Inc.

AccuSense® is a wireless, hand deployed, portable, gas chromatograph for chemical gas detection that...

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ACEM 9350

ACEM 9350

CDS Analytical, Inc.

The ACEM 9350 Captures compounds of interest on adsorbent material packed in glass cartridges and th...

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Defiant Technologies

The Canary-3 is a hand-held system to detect semi-volatile compounds in air. In contrast to the Cana...

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Defiant Technologies

Defiant’s Canary-Two™ combines three micro-fabricated components: a chemical pre-concentrator, a gas...

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D-tect Systems

The chem-ID is a parts-per-billion gas analyzer that characterizes chemicals using two-dimensional g...

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CMS5000 is a fixed air or water monitoring system designed to identify VOCs. It requires externally ...

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E^2 M / MM2

E^2 M / MM2

Bruker Corporation

The E2M is a conventional quadrupole GC/MS with 70 eV ionization, which produces NIST-searchable mas...

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EGIS Defender

EGIS Defender

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.

The EGIS Defender explosive detection system is based on High-Speed Gas Chromatography (HSGC) combin...

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Scintrex Trace Corp. (division of Autoclear)

EN5000’s GC/IMS dual detection identifies specific explosives or narcotics traces. Detects military ...

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The Explorer is a battery operated portable GC with photoionization (PID) and electron capture (ECD)...

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Defiant Technologies

Defiant Technologies’ FROG-4000 is a hand held system for detection of volatile organic compounds in...

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