MultiFlex Powers through Headspace

Martin Perkins

12th March 2014

If you are using GC-MS for the analysis of dirty samples, the fundamental advantage of headspace sampling – in all its various forms, is that it keeps your whole analytical system clean. This translates into robust methods and the ability to reliably run lots of samples with very little down-time.

Headspace analysis enables you to infer information about the composition of a sample – solid or liquid, by sampling, and then analysing the air above the sample.

Headspace analysis is the oldest analytical technique known: humans have always known that you can tell a lot about the nature of a product, by giving it a sniff. For many analysts, the ability to closely replicate the organoleptic experience of consumers makes static headspace analysis especially useful.

The MultiFlex configuration of the GERSTEL MPS supports a large number of GC sampling and injection technologies and includes everything that is required to perform static headspace (aka equilibrium headspace) by the heated syringe method.

Heated syringe equilibrium headspace has several key advantages: It is very robust, is easy to troubleshoot and can be reproduced manually.

The heated syringe is easy to flush with both gas and solvent, which means that carry-over is rarely a problem since the syringe is just about the only thing that comes into contact with the sample. On the rare occasions when this might be an issue, the syringe may be easily cleaned or replaced.

The GERSTEL MPS MultiFlex comes configured with a cooled CIS 4 PTV inlet and this provides a means to trap and focus volatiles, if you need more sensitivity than a simple 1ml headspace injection can provide.

For productivity, there is a key unique feature that make the MPS significantly more productive than other, similar headspace samplers; Prep-ahead.

Prep-ahead is a function of the MAESTRO control software that works out the most efficient way of preparing your headspace samples, and sets the instrument working on several samples at the same time. This means that whenever your GC-MS comes ready after running one sample, another sample is ready to be injected. It also makes sure that every sample is treated in exactly the same way.

Prep-ahead can enable your GC-MS to run up to a third more samples every day than other headspace samplers.

An example of how the GERSTEL MPS can power through headspace samples is here.

If you would like to find out more about the capabilities of the system please call on +44 (0)1223 279210 or email