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The Two Kinds of GC-MS Methods

Martin Perkins

17th March 2015

Ray Perkins, Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry, SIFT-MS, Syft Voice200Ultra, Workshop,


SIFT-MS – the path to solving some tricky analytical problems

There are two sorts of GC-MS methods:

1. The ones that just work.

2. The tough, frustrating, stressful, expensive, unreliable, troublesome, career-sapping, reputation-trashing ones.

Anyone who has been knocking around in analytical chemistry for a while has their own personal, black museum of nightmare analytical problems.

GC-MS’s sweet-spot is the slow, painstaking, measurement of small, low polarity, organic molecules. We soon learn to consign the determination of large molecules to the LC-MS lab, but there has always existed a terrible, benighted, boggy, wasteland with no way around it.

This analyst’s grave-yard is a realm inhabited by molecular monsters, samples containing small, reactive, polar organics and low molecular-weight inorganic compounds. Venture here and you sink to the waist in a morass of irreproducibility, low recoveries and strangely inexplicable results.

For these analytes, GC and GC-MS is a poor option, but all too often, the only option available; trouble then beckons as sure as night follows day.

Until now that is.

Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) has been around for a while. It has now attained a sufficient degree of scientific, technical and commercial maturity to be able to solve many tricky problems. Its use is growing rapidly.

Here is a leaflet that shows how SIFT-MS works.

Here you will find a partial list of analytes including some of the molecular monsters that SIFT-MS will tame for you.

Compared to GC-MS, SIFT-MS is lightning fast. You will see it often used to make real-time measurements of volatile organics in air.

Here are some leaflets showing how SIFT-MS is already being used in different industries:

Environmental solutions
Food and Flavour solutions
Petrochemical solutions

The World-wide market leader in this field is Syft Technologies Ltd and I am pleased that Anatune now has an agreement to represent their excellent range of products in the UK and Ireland.

Here at Anatune, we all think the emergence of SIFT-MS is a big deal and you need to be aware of its capabilities.

On 19th, 20th and 21st May 2015, we are running a series of one-day SIFT-MS workshops, conducted by a specialist from Syft Technologies to give you the chance to learn about this important new analytical technique. We will have a SIFT-MS running in our lab and you will be able to see it first-hand.

These workshops will be fully subscribed, so if you want to attend please email: Susan.Roach@anatune.co.uk or call on:  +44 (0)1223 279210, to reserve your place.