Troubleshooting the Agilent 1100 HPLC

Troubleshooting the Agilent 1100 HPLC
Troubleshooting the Agilent 1100 HPLC
In This Section, You Will Learn:
• General troubleshooting strategy
• Common Problems:
– Pressure
– Reproducibility
• Retention time (Rt)
• Area
–
–
–
–
Linearity
Baseline noise
Sensitivity
Peak shape
2
1
Important HPLC Parameters
During the course of your work, monitor the following parameters:
•Pressure
•Baseline Noise
•Retention time precision
These parameters can tell you if your
HPLC is experiencing problems.
•Area precision
•Peak height precision
•Peak shape
•Sensitivity
3
Why Do You Care if Your System Is Functioning
Properly?
Quantitative Analysis
•Changes in flow rate caused by pumping problems result in incorrect area
counts.
•Noisy baselines will interfere with integration and decrease signal-to-noise ratio.
•Poor autosampler maintenance will result in poor injection volume
reproducibility.
Qualitative Analysis
•Retention time fluctuations resulting in incorrect identifications.
•Spectral analysis difficulties.
4
2
Troubleshooting Key Concept
Divide and Conquer
Question
Is the problem with the application method or the instrument?
Action
Test Mix 01080-68704
Inject a standard test mix of known behavior under
known conditions
...............…HPLC Test Sample – Keep it simple:
Test sample: 2- 3 Analytes (chemically stable) in sufficient concentration
Test column: Record length, internal diameter, stationary phase, particle diameter
Separation method: Solvent , flow rate, temperature, pressure, detection parameters
Results: tR, peak width, resolution, peak area, peak height, baseline noise,
signal/noise ratio of analytes
5
Problems with the System Pressure
Pressure problems
Pressure too high
Pressure too low
Pressure Unstable
6
3
Pressure Problem I
Pressure Measurement
Pressure Too
High
• Column inlet frit contaminated
•Frit in purge valve contaminated
• Column contaminated
• Blockage in a capillary, particularly needle
seat capillary
Use this valve
to divide the
system
• Rotor in injection valve plugged
• Injection needle or needle seat plugged
7
Pressure Measurement
Pressure Problem II
Pressure Too Low
z
Solvent inlet frit plugged
Leak in a capillary connection or
other part (pump seals)
z
z
z
z
z
z
Wrong solvent or flow rate
Solvent inlet
frits
AIV (Active inlet valve) defective
Multichannel Gradient valve
incorrectly proportioning
Ball valve defective
Column defective
(stationaryphase)
8
4
Pressure Problem III
Pressure Fluctuation
• Solvent inlet frits plugged
• Solvent not degassed
• Seals of the pump defective
• Ball valve defective
Solvent inlet
frits
• AIV defective
Usually an indication there is air in the pump
9
Reproducibility
Typically,
Peak retention time precision:
⇒ with oven:
< 0.3%
⇒ without oven:
< 0.7%
Peak area precision:
<1.5%
•Area and Peak Height problems together point to the autosampler system
•Area and Retention Time problems together point to the pump
10
5
Problems with Reproducibility – Peak Areas
Seal
Peak Areas not
Reproducible
With peak height
•Rotor seal cross-port leak or injection valve not tight
•Piston seal of metering unit leaking
•Needle partially blocked
With retention time
•Variable pump flow rate
Other
•Capillary from injector to detector not tight
•Detector equilibration problems
Pump
Column
Rotor
11
Problems with Reproducibiliy – Retention Time
Retention Times not Reproducible
• Pump Problems
–Mobile phase composition problems
–Valves AIV, ball valve defective
–Flow rate problems
•Column Oven Problems
–Temperature fluctuations
•Other
–Column equilibration
–Column deterioration
12
6
Linearity Problems
Peak Areas not Linear
Seal
Autosampler
•Rotor seal cross-port leak or
injection valve not tight
•Piston seal of metering unit defective
•Needle partially blocked
Detector
•Satuaration
13
Baseline Fluctuations
Possible Causes:
„
„
„
„
„
„
„
„
Dirty Flow Cell
Dirty mobile phase
Detector Lamp Failing
Pulses from Pump ( if Periodic)
Temperature Effects on Detector (RI)
Air Bubbles passing through Detector
Gradient elution
Immiscible Solvents
14
7
Troubleshooting
Baseline Noise
Stop Flow
yes
no
Noise
Still
Exists?
Pump or Mobile Phase?
Detector?
Other Questions to Ask
ÎHave you changed your mobile phase
composition?
ÎHave you changed your acquisition
wavelength?
ÎWhat mobile phase was last used in
your instrument?
ÎDo you have a miscibility problem?
ÎAre your solvents dirty?
15
Example - Ghost Peaks
60
Ghost Peaks - Peaks which appear even on blank injections
Problem - Dirty Mobile Phase
15
30
15
0
3
7
20% - 100%
MeOH Gradient
No Sample Injected
15
17
16
8
Sensitivity Problems
Peak response too low
Causes:
• insufficient injection amount
• Detector problems
• Lamp aging
• Detector cell contamiated
• Solvent absorption high
17
Peak Problems – Split/Tailing/Fronting
Appendix
18
9
Peak Shape - Doublets
Void Volume in Column
Normal
„
„
„
Doublet
Peaks
Void Volume in Column
Partially Blocked Frit
Only One-Peak a Doublet- Coeluting
Components
19
Effect of Extra-Column Volume
T im e , m in .
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
20 無
(1µL Injection)
10 無
F = 0 .2 m L / m in .
2 .1 x 1 5 0 m m
V o lu m e
E x t r a - C o lu m n
„
„
„
„
Use short, small internal diameter tubing between the injector and the
column and between the column and the detector.
Make certain all tubing connections are made with matched fittings.
Use a low-volume detector cell.
Inject small sample volumes.
20
10
Peak Shape - Tailing
Symmetry > 1.2
Causes
Some Peaks Tail
Secondary - Retention Effects
Residual Silanol Interactions
„Small Peak Eluting on Tail of Larger
Peak
„
Î
Normal
Tailing
All Peaks Tail
Extra-Column Effects
Build up of Contamination on
Column Inlet
„Heavy Metals
„Bad Column
„
„
Normal
Tailing
21
Peak Shape - Fronting Peaks
mAU
2000
1500
1000
500
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
Time (min)
Normal
Fronting
Symmetry < 0.9
Causes:
ÎColumn Overload
ÎSmall Band Eluting Before Large Band
22
11
Review of Important Tests
Leak test
Temperature stability & accuracy
Baseline noise/drift
Precision of peak areas & RT
Wavelength accuracy
Detector linearity
Autosampler carry over
Autosampler linearity
Composition accuracy/precision
Composition ripple
23
Summary - Troubleshooting
Exclude application errors
Take a methodical and systematic approach
Localize error in a part of the system
Change only one thing at a time
Ask for help where appropriate
Plan course of action
Verify if problem has been eliminated (test injection)
Periodic maintenance of the Agilent 1100 prevents downtime
24
12
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