How Good are Your Staff at GC Injection?

Martin Perkins

10th February 2014

Your data can only be as good as your injection allows

Recently, Dan Carrier and I were having a discussion with an experienced analyst – very knowledgeable on LC-MS, less so on GC-MS.

We got into discussing the problems of a particular GC-MS method that had not been working properly for 4 years. This was an important measurement and the inability to produce acceptable data had caused a lot of trouble for the organisation.

Clearly a lot of effort had been expended trying to solve the problems, however as we probed a little deeper, there came a point where Dan and I both come to the same conclusion; that we were listening to a problem that was injector related and, in all likely hood, pretty easy to fix.

No attempt had been made in 4 years to optimise the injector conditions, because no one had realised that this might be important.

In this and other similar cases, the real issue is the unfortunate fact that only small numbers of analysts have a thorough understanding of GC injectors, how they work, and how to set them up properly.

Never is the phrase “rubbish in, rubbish out” more relevant than when applied to GC injectors.

If you give your staff the opportunity to learn the basic principles of GC injection, then this one simple step will reduce time spent on method development, give more robust methods, and ensure better quality data.

When we train new staff in GC injection we use a publication entitled:

Sample Introduction Techniques for Capillary Gas Chromatography

This excellent GERSTEL publication discusses GC injection in detail and covers Split, Splitless, On-Column and PTV injection.

I have 10 bound copies of this publication to give away.  If you want a copy for your laboratory bookshelf, send an email now to