7890A Gas Chromatograph Advanced User Guide

7890A Gas Chromatograph Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A
Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
Agilent Technologies
Notices
© Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2007-2012
No part of this manual may be reproduced
in any form or by any means (including
electronic storage and retrieval or translation into a foreign language) without prior
agreement and written consent from
Agilent Technologies, Inc. as governed by
United States and international copyright
laws.
Manual Part Number
G3430-90015
Safety Notices
CAUTION
A CAUTION notice denotes a hazard. It
calls attention to an operating
procedure, practice, or the like that, if
not correctly performed or adhered to,
could result in damage to the product
or loss of important data. Do not
proceed beyond a CAUTION notice
until the indicated conditions are fully
understood and met.
Edition
Eleventh edition, July 2012
Tenth edition, March 2012
Ninth edition, June 2011
Eighth edition, February 2011
Seventh edition, November 2010
Sixth edition, June 2010
Fifth edition, September 2009
Fourth edition, April 2009
Third edition, September 2008
Second edition, January 2008
First edition, April 2007
Printed in USA
Agilent Technologies, Inc.
2850 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19808-1610 USA
安捷伦科技 (上海)有限公司
上海市浦东新区外高桥保税区
英伦路 412 号
联系电话:(800)820 3278
WA R N I N G
A WARNING notice denotes a hazard.
It calls attention to an operating
procedure, practice, or the like that, if
not correctly performed or adhered to,
could result in personal injury or
death. Do not proceed beyond a
WARNING notice until the indicated
conditions are fully understood and
met.
Firmware Version
This manual is written for 7890A GCs using
firmware version A.01.14.
Contents
1
Programming
Run Time Programming 16
Using run time events 16
Programming run time events
The run table 17
Adding events to the run table
Editing events in the run table
Deleting run time events 18
17
17
18
Clock Time Programming 19
Using clock time events 19
Programming clock time events
Adding events to the clock table
Editing clock time events 20
Deleting clock time events 20
19
20
User-Key Programming 21
To program a User Key 21
To play back (execute) the stored keystrokes
To erase the stored keystrokes 21
Post Run Programming 22
To enable a post run program
To disable a post run program
2
21
22
22
Configuration
About Configuration 24
Assigning GC resources to a device 24
Setting configuration properties 25
General Topics 26
Unlock the GC Configuration
Ignore Ready = 26
Information displays 27
Unconfigured: 27
26
Oven 28
To configure the oven 28
To configure the oven for cryogenic cooling
Front Inlet/Back Inlet 30
To configure the Gas type 30
To configure the PTV or COC coolant
To configure the MMI coolant 32
Advanced User Guide
29
30
3
Column # 34
To configure a single column 34
To view a summary of column connections
To configure multiple columns 37
Composite Columns 42
To configure composite columns
LTM Columns 44
LTM Series II column modules
37
43
44
Cryo Trap 45
Configure the cryo trap to the GC 45
Configure a heater to the cryo trap 45
Configure the coolant 45
Configure the user-configurable heater 46
Reboot the GC 46
Front Detector/Back Detector/Aux Detector/Aux Detector 2
To configure the makeup/reference gas 47
Lit offset 47
To configure the FPD heaters 47
To ignore the FID or FPD ignitor 48
Analog out 1/Analog out 2
Fast peaks
49
47
49
Valve Box 50
To assign a GC power source to a valve box heater
50
Thermal Aux 51
To assign a GC power source to an Aux thermal zone
To configure a MSD transfer line heater 52
To configure a nickel catalyst heater 52
To configure an AED transfer line heater 53
To configure an ion trap transfer line heater 53
PCM A/PCM B/PCM C 54
To assign a GC communication source to a PCM
To configure a PCM 54
51
54
Pressure aux 1,2,3/Pressure aux 4,5,6/Pressure aux 7,8,9 56
To assign a GC communication source to an Aux EPC 56
To configure an auxiliary pressure channel 56
Status 57
The Ready/Not Ready status table 57
The setpoint status table 57
To configure the setpoint status table 57
4
Advanced User Guide
Time 58
To set time and date 58
To use the stopwatch 58
Valve # 59
To configure a valve
59
Front injector/Back injector 60
Solvent Wash Mode (7683 ALS) 60
To configure an injector (7683 ALS) 61
To move a 7683 injector between front and back positions
Sample tray (7683 ALS)
Instrument
3
61
62
63
Options
About Options
66
Calibration 67
Maintaining EPC calibration—inlets, detectors, PCM, and AUX
To zero a specific flow or pressure sensor 68
To zero all pressure sensors in all modules 69
Column calibration 69
Communication 73
Configuring the IP address for the GC
Keyboard and Display
4
73
74
Chromatographic Checkout
About Chromatographic Checkout
78
To Prepare for Chromatographic Checkout
To Check FID Performance
79
81
To Check TCD Performance
86
To Check NPD Performance
91
To Check uECD Performance
96
To Check FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5953)
101
To Verify FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5245, Japan)
5
108
Methods and Sequences
Creating Methods 116
To program a method 117
To program the ALS 117
To program the ALS sampler tray
Advanced User Guide
67
117
5
To program the 7683B ALS bar code reader
To save a method 119
To load a stored method 119
Method mismatch 120
118
Creating Sequences 121
About the priority sequence 121
To program a sequence 122
To program a priority sequence 122
To program an ALS subsequence 123
To program a valve subsequence 123
To program post sequence events 123
To save a sequence 124
To load a stored sequence 124
To determine sequence status 124
To start a sequence 124
To pause and resume a sequence 125
To stop a sequence 125
To abort a sequence 125
6
Checking for Leaks
Preparing the GC for Maintenance 128
Column and oven preparation 128
Inlet preparation 128
Detector preparation 128
Leak Check Tips
129
To Check for External Leaks
To Check for GC Leaks
130
131
Leaks in Capillary Flow Technology (CFT) Fittings
To Perform a SS Inlet Pressure Decay Test
133
To Correct Leaks in the Split Splitless Inlet
137
To Perform a Multimode Inlet Pressure Decay Test
To Correct Leaks in the Multimode Inlet
143
To Correct Leaks in the Packed Column Inlet
To Correct Leaks in the PTV Inlet
6
147
148
To Correct Leaks in the Cool On-Column Inlet
To Perform a PTV Pressure Decay Test
138
142
To Perform a PP Inlet Pressure Decay Test
To Perform a COC Pressure Decay Test
132
151
152
156
Advanced User Guide
To Perform a VI Pressure Decay Test
157
To Prepare the VI for a Closed System Leak Check
To Correct Leaks in the Volatiles Interface
7
161
162
Flow and Pressure Modules
About Flow and Pressure Control
Maximum operating pressure
PIDs 165
Inlet Modules
166
Detector Modules
167
Pressure Control Modules
168
Auxiliary Pressure Controllers
Restrictors
164
164
171
172
Examples 174
1. Using an Aux EPC channel to supply purge gas to a splitter
2. Using the PCM channels 174
8
174
Inlets
Using Hydrogen
Inlet Overview
179
180
Carrier Gas Flow Rates
181
About Gas Saver 182
To use gas saver 182
Pre Run and Prep Run 184
The [Prep Run] key 184
Auto Prep Run 185
About Heaters
186
About the Split/Splitless Inlet 188
Septum tightening (S/SL) 188
Standard and high-pressure versions of the S/SL inlet 188
Split/Splitless inlet split mode overview 189
Split/Splitless inlet splitless mode overview 190
The S/SL inlet pulsed split and splitless modes 191
Split/Splitless inlet split mode minimum operating pressures
Selecting the correct S/SL inlet liner 193
Vapor Volume Calculator 195
Setting parameters for the S/SL split mode 195
Selecting parameters for the S/SL splitless mode 196
Advanced User Guide
192
7
Setting parameters for the S/SL splitless mode
Setting parameters for the S/SL pulsed modes
197
198
About the Multimode Inlet 199
Septum tightening (MMI) 199
Heating the MMI 200
Cooling the MMI 200
MMI split mode minimum operating pressures 201
Selecting the correct MMI liner 202
Vapor Volume Calculator 204
MMI split and pulsed split modes 204
MMI splitless and pulsed splitless modes 208
MMI solvent vent mode 214
MMI Direct Mode 222
To develop a MMI method that uses large volume injection
Multiple injections with the MMI 226
About the Packed Column Inlet
Setting parameters 234
223
232
About the Cool On-Column Inlet 236
Setup modes of the COC inlet 237
Retention gaps 237
COC inlet temperature control 237
Setting COC inlet flows/pressures 238
Setting COC inlet parameters 239
About the PTV Inlet 240
PTV sampling heads 240
Heating the PTV inlet 241
Cooling the PTV inlet 242
PTV inlet split and pulsed split modes 242
PTV inlet splitless and pulsed splitless modes 246
PTV inlet solvent vent mode 253
To develop a PTV method that uses large volume injection
Multiple injections with the PTV inlet 264
About the Volatiles Interface 270
VI operating modes 271
About the VI split mode 272
About the VI splitless mode 276
About the VI direct mode 281
Preparing the Interface for Direct Sample Introduction
VI direct mode setpoint dependencies 286
VI direct mode initial values 286
Setting parameters for the VI direct mode 287
8
261
284
Advanced User Guide
9
Columns and Oven
About the Oven
Oven safety
290
290
Configuring the Oven
291
Cryogenic Operation 292
Cryogenic setpoints 292
About Oven Temperature Programming 294
Programming setpoints 294
Oven ramp rates 295
Setting the oven parameters for constant temperature 296
Setting the oven parameters for ramped temperature 296
About the Oven Insert
298
About Columns 299
Selecting the correct packed glass column type 299
About the column modes 299
Select a column mode 300
Setting the column parameters for constant flow or constant
pressure 301
Enter a flow or pressure program (optional) 301
Programming column pressure or flow 302
Backflushing a Column 303
Backflushing when connected to an MSD 304
Backflushing using a capillary flow technology device
Nickel Catalyst Tube 309
About the nickel catalyst tube 309
Nickel catalyst gas flows 309
Setting temperatures for the nickel catalyst tube
10
304
310
Detectors
About Makeup Gas
312
About the FID 313
How FID units are displayed in Agilent data systems and on the GC
To light the FID flame 315
To extinguish the FID flame 315
FID automatic reignition (Lit offset) 315
Recommended starting conditions for new FID methods 316
Setting parameters for FID 317
Advanced User Guide
314
9
About the TCD 318
TCD pneumatics 320
TCD carrier, reference, and makeup gas 320
TCD gas pressures 321
Selecting reference and makeup flows for the TCD 322
Chemically active compounds reduce TCD filament life 322
Changing the TCD polarity during a run 323
Detecting hydrogen with the TCD using helium carrier gas 323
Setting parameters for the TCD 324
About the uECD 326
uECD safety and regulatory information 326
uECD warnings 327
Safety precautions when handling uECDs 328
uECD gas flows 329
uECD linearity 329
uECD detector gas 329
uECD temperature 329
uECD analog output 330
Recommended starting conditions for new uECD methods
uECD makeup gas notes 330
uECD temperature programming 331
Setting parameters for the uECD 331
About the NPD 332
New NPD features and changes 332
NPD software requirements 332
NPD flows and general information 332
NPD flow, temperature, and bead recommendations
NPD required gas purity 335
Setting parameters for the NPD 336
Selecting an NPD bead type 337
Changing from a ceramic bead to a Blos bead 338
Selecting an NPD jet 338
To configure the NPD 339
Automatically adjusting NPD bead voltage 340
Setting NPD adjust offset on the clock table 341
Aborting NPD adjust offset 341
Extending the NPD bead life 341
Setting the initial bead voltage for new beads 342
Setting NPD bead voltage manually (optional) 343
330
333
About the FPD 344
FPD linearity 345
FPD Lit Offset 345
10
Advanced User Guide
Starting Up and Shutting Down the FPD
FPD photomultiplier protection 345
FPD optical filters
345
Inlet liners for use with the FPD 346
FPD temperature considerations 346
FPD gas purity 346
FPD gas flows 346
Lighting the FPD flame 347
Setting parameters for the FPD 348
11
345
Valves
About Valves
352
The Valve Box 353
Heating the valves 353
Valve temperature programming
Configuring an Aux thermal zone
Valve Control 355
The valve drivers 355
The internal valve drivers
The external valve drivers
Valve Types
353
354
355
356
357
Configuring a Valve
358
Controlling a Valve 359
From the keyboard 359
From the run or clock time tables 359
Simple valve: column selection 359
Gas sampling valve 360
Multiposition stream selection valve with sampling valve
12
361
7683B Sampler
About the 7683B Sampler
Hardware 364
Software 364
364
Setting Parameters for the ALS 365
Solvent Saver 366
Sample tray setpoints 367
Storing setpoints 367
Advanced User Guide
11
13
Cables
About Cables and Back Panel Connectors
Back panel connectors 370
Sampler connectors 370
The AUX connector 370
Signal connectors 371
REMOTE connector 371
EVENT connector 371
BCD input connector 371
RS-232 connector 371
LAN connector 371
370
Using the Remote Start/Stop cable 372
Connecting Agilent products 372
Connecting non-Agilent products 372
Connecting Cables
375
Cable Diagrams 377
Analog cable, general use 377
Remote start/stop cable 377
BCD cable 378
External event cable 379
14
GC Output Signals
About Signals
382
Signal Types 383
Value 383
Analog Signals 385
Analog zero 385
Analog range 385
Analog data rates 386
Selecting fast peaks (analog output)
Digital Signals 388
Digital zero 388
Signal Freeze and Resume 388
Data rates with Agilent data systems
Zero Init Data Files 391
387
389
Column Compensation 392
Creating a column compensation profile 393
Making a run using analog output column compensation
Making a run using digital output column compensation
Plotting a stored column compensation profile 394
Test Plot
12
393
393
395
Advanced User Guide
15
Miscellaneous Topics
Auxiliary Devices 398
About Auxiliary Pressure Control 398
About Aux Thermal Zone Control 399
About Cryo Trap Control 399
About Auxiliary Device Contacts 400
About the 24V Auxiliary Device Power Supply
About Auxiliary Columns 400
About Auxiliary Detectors 401
To Use the Stopwatch
400
402
Service Mode 403
Service Reminders 403
Other functions 405
Advanced User Guide
13
14
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
1
Programming
Run Time Programming 16
Using run time events 16
Programming run time events 17
The run table 17
Adding events to the run table 17
Editing events in the run table 18
Deleting run time events 18
Clock Time Programming 19
Using clock time events 19
Programming clock time events 19
Adding events to the clock table 20
Editing clock time events 20
Deleting clock time events 20
Post Run Programming 22
User-Key Programming 21
To play back (execute) the stored keystrokes 21
To erase the stored keystrokes 21
To program a User Key 21
Agilent Technologies
15
1
Programming
Run Time Programming
Run time programming during a method allows certain
setpoints to change automatically during a run as a function
of the chromatographic run time. Thus an event that is
programmed to occur at 2 minutes will occur 2 minutes
after every injection.
Its uses include:
• Controlling column switching or other valves
• Changing analog signal definition, zero, or range
• Controlling an auxiliary pressure channel
• Changing polarity of a thermal conductivity detector
(TCD)
• Turning the hydrogen flow to a nitrogen- phosphorus
detector (NPD) on or off
• Switching digital signal output (requires an Agilent data
system)
• Pausing (“freezing”) and resuming digital signal output
(requires an Agilent data system)
The changes are entered into a run table that specifies the
setpoint to be changed, the time for the change, and the new
value. At the end of the chromatographic run, most setpoints
changed by a run time table are returned to their original
values.
Valves can be run time programmed but are not restored to
their starting position at the end of the run. You must
program the reset operation in the run table if this action is
desired. See “From the run or clock time tables” on
page 359.
Using run time events
The [Run Table] key is used to program the following timed
events.
• Valves (1- 8)
• Multiposition valve
• Signal type (see “Signal Types” on page 383)
• Analog signal definition, zero, and range
• Auxiliary pressures (1 through 9)
• TCD negative polarity (on/off)
16
Advanced User Guide
1
Programming
• Detector gas flow (on/off), including NPD H2 fuel gas
• Inlet septum purge flow
Programming run time events
1 Press [Run Table].
2
Press [Mode/Type] to see the available run time events.
3
Scroll to the event to be programmed. Press [Enter].
4
Enter values for the Time: and the other parameter. Press
[Enter] after each entry.
5
Press [Mode/Type] to add another event. Press [Status] to
terminate entries.
The run table
The programmed events are arranged in order of execution
time in the Run Table. This is a brief example:
RUN TABLE (1 of 3)
Time:
0.10
Valve #2
On
RUN TABLE (2 of 3)
Time:
3
Analog signal 2 range 2
RUN TABLE (3 of 3)
Time:
4.20
Valve #2
Off
Event 1 rotates a valve.
Event 2 adjusts the signal
range.
Event 3 resets Valve #2 to its
original position in preparation
for another run. Valves do not
reset automatically.
Adding events to the run table
1 To add new events to the run table, press [Mode/Type]
while on the Time: line of any entry.
Advanced User Guide
2
Select the event type.
3
Set appropriate Time: and other parameters. Some require
numbers; others require [On/Yes] or [Off/No].
4
Repeat until all entries are added. Events are
automatically placed in order by execution time.
17
1
Programming
Editing events in the run table
1 Press [Run Table].
2
Move the cursor to the event you want to change.
3
To edit the time for an event, move the cursor to the line
labeled Time:. Type the desired time and press [Enter].
4
To edit a setpoint value, scroll to the setpoint line. Press
[On/Yes] or [Off/No] or enter a numeric value for the
setpoint. Press [Enter].
Deleting run time events
1 Press [Run Table].
18
2
From within this table press [Delete] to delete events
from the run time table. You will be asked to confirm the
deletion.
3
Press [On/Yes] to delete the current timed event; press
[Off/No] to cancel this operation.
4
To delete the entire table, press [Delete][Run Table].
Advanced User Guide
1
Programming
Clock Time Programming
Clock time programming allows certain setpoints to change
automatically at a specified time during a 24- hour day. Thus,
an event programmed to occur at 14:35 hours will occur at
2:35 in the afternoon. A running analysis or sequence has
precedence over any clock table events occurring during this
time. Such events are not executed.
Possible clock time events include:
• Valve control
• Method and sequence loading
• Starting sequences
• Initiating blank and prep runs
• Column compensation changes
• Adjustments of the detector offset
Using clock time events
The Clock Table function allows you to program events to
occur during a day based on the 24- hour clock. Clock table
events that would occur during a run or sequence are
ignored.
For example, the clock table could be used to make a blank
run before you even get to work in the morning.
Programming clock time events
1 Press [Clock Table].
2
Press [Mode/Type] to see the available clock time events.
3
Scroll to the parameter to be programmed.
4
Edit Time: and the setpoints for this event.
5
Press [Mode/Type] to add another event. Press [Status] to
terminate entries.
When the clock event is executed, a confirming message
appears.
Advanced User Guide
19
1
Programming
Adding events to the clock table
1 Press [Clock Table].
2
Press [Mode/Type]. When entries are added, they are
automatically ordered chronologically.
3
Select the event type.
4
Set appropriate parameters.
5
Repeat this process until all entries are added.
Editing clock time events
1 Press [Clock Table] to view all events programmed.
2
Scroll to the event you want to change.
3
To edit the time for an event, move the cursor to the line
labelled Time: and type the desired time.
4
To edit a setpoint value, scroll to the setpoint item. Press
[On/Yes] or [Off/No], or enter a numerical value for the
setpoint.
Deleting clock time events
1 Press [Clock Table].
2
Use [Delete] to remove events from the clock time table.
You will be asked to confirm the deletion.
3
Press [On/Yes] to delete the current timed event; press
[Off/No] to cancel this operation.
To delete the entire table, press [Delete][Clock Table].
20
Advanced User Guide
Programming
1
User-Key Programming
The two User Keys create macros (sets of frequently used
keystrokes) and assign them to single keys. A macro is
executed when the User Key is pressed.
The stored keystrokes may be any keys except [Start], [Prog],
[User Key 1], or [User Key 2].
This discussion assumes that you wish to program [User Key
1]. The process is the same for [User Key 2].
To program a User Key
1 Press [Prog]. Press [User Key 1].
2
Press up to 31 keys, then press [User Key 1]. The
keystrokes are stored.
To play back (execute) the stored keystrokes
Press [User Key 1].
To erase the stored keystrokes
Press [Prog][User Key 1][User Key 1]. This creates an “empty”
macro.
Advanced User Guide
21
1
Programming
Post Run Programming
This function can be used with both isothermal and
programmed methods. Post run is a period that begins at the
end of the normal run. The parameters include:
• Time—How long is the post run period?
• Oven Temperature—What is the oven temperature during the
post run period?
• Column n pres—For a column controlled in a pressure mode,
enter the pressure for this column during the post run
period.
• Column n flow—For a column controlled in a flow mode,
enter the flow rate for this column during the post run
period.
• Enable Front inlet temp—For the Multimode inlet, set the post
run inlet temperature. You can also press [On/Yes] and
[Off/No] to turn this parameter on or off.
• Enable Front inlet total flow—For the Multimode inlet, set the
post run inlet total flow rate. You can also press [On/Yes]
and [Off/No] to turn this parameter on or off.
Post run may be used to clean out a column in preparation
for the next run, backflush a column to eliminate
high- boilers, and other functions.
When the Post run Time elapses, the GC returns to the initial
state defined in the current method. If it uses cryogenic
cooling and you do not start another run quickly, you could
waste considerable coolant while waiting for the next run. A
solution is to use a sequence that loads a less wasteful
method.
To enable a post run program
1 Press [Post Run].
2
Type a non- zero time for the post run duration and press
[Enter]. The post run parameters available for the current
GC configuration appear.
3
Scroll to each desired parameter, type the value for the
post run period, and press [Enter].
To disable a post run program
1 Press [Post Run].
2
22
Type a 0 as the post run time and press [Enter].
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
About Configuration 24
Assigning GC resources to a device 24
Setting configuration properties 25
General Topics 26
Unlock the GC Configuration 26
Ignore Ready = 26
Information displays 27
Unconfigured: 27
Oven 28
Front Inlet/Back Inlet 30
To configure the PTV or COC coolant 30
To configure the MMI coolant 32
Column # 34
To configure a single column 34
To configure multiple columns 37
Composite Columns 42
LTM Columns 44
Cryo Trap 45
Front Detector/Back Detector/Aux Detector/Aux Detector 2 47
Analog out 1/Analog out 2 49
Fast peaks 49
Valve Box 50
Thermal Aux 51
To assign a GC power source to an Aux thermal zone 51
To configure a MSD transfer line heater 52
To configure a nickel catalyst heater 52
To configure an ion trap transfer line heater 53
PCM A/PCM B/PCM C 54
Pressure aux 1,2,3/Pressure aux 4,5,6/Pressure aux 7,8,9 56
Status 57
Time 58
Valve # 59
Front injector/Back injector 60
Sample tray (7683 ALS) 62
Instrument 63
Agilent Technologies
23
2
Configuration
About Configuration
Configuration is a two- part process for most GC accessory
devices that require power and/or communication resources
from the GC. In the first part of the configuration process, a
power and/or communication resource is assigned to the
device. The second part of the configuration process allows
setting of any configuration properties associated with the
device.
Assigning GC resources to a device
A hardware device requiring but not assigned GC resources
is given a mode of Unconfigured by the GC. Once you assign
GC resources to a device, the GC gives the device a mode of
Configured, allowing you to access other property settings (if
any) for the device.
To assign GC resources to a device with an Unconfigured
mode:
1 Unlock the GC configuration. Press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
2
Press [Config] on the GC keypad and select a device from
the list, then press [Enter].
The [Config] key opens a menu similar to this:
Oven
Front inlet
Back Inlet
Column #
Front detector
Back detector
Aux detector
Aux detector 2
Analog out 1
Analog out 2
Valve Box
Thermal Aux 1
Thermal Aux 2
Thermal Aux 3
PCM A
PCM B
PCM C
Aux EPC 1,2,3
Aux EPC 4,5,6
24
Advanced User Guide
Configuration
2
Aux EPC 7,8,9
Status
Time
Valve #
2 Dimensional GC Valve
Front injector
Back injector
Sample tray
Instrument
In many cases you can move directly to the item of
interest by pressing [Config][device].
3
When the Configure Device Display opens, the cursor
should be on the Unconfigured field. Press [Mode/Type] and
follow the GC prompts to assign resources to the device.
4
After assigning resources, the GC prompts for you to
power cycle the GC. Turn the GC power switch off and
then on.
When the GC starts, select the device just assigned the GC
resources for further configuration if needed. When accessed,
its mode should indicate Configured and the other
configuration properties are displayed.
Setting configuration properties
A device’s configuration properties are constant for an
instrument hardware setup unlike method settings which can
change from sample run to sample run. An example of a
configuration setting is the gas type flowing through a
pneumatic device or the operation temperate limit of a
device.
To change the setting configuration properties for a
Configured device:
1 Press [Config] on the GC keypad and select a device from
the list, then press [Enter].
In many cases you can move directly to the item of
interest by pressing [Config][device].
2
Advanced User Guide
Scroll to the device setting and change the property. This
can involve making a selection from a list using
[Mode/Type], using [On/Yes] or [Off/No], or entering a
numeric value. Press [Info] for help on changing numeric
settings, or see the section of this document describing
the specific configuration of the device.
25
2
Configuration
General Topics
Unlock the GC Configuration
Accessory devices including inlets, detectors, pressure
controllers (AUX EPC and PCM), and temperature control
loops (Thermal AUX) have electrical connections to a power
source and/or the communication bus in the GC. These
devices must be assigned GC resources before they can be
used. Before assigning resources to a device, you must first
unlock the GC configuration. If you try to configure an
Unconfigured device without unlocking the GC configuration,
the GC displays the message CONFIGURATION IS LOCKED Go to
Keyboard options to unlock.
It is also necessary to unlock the GC configuration if you are
removing the GC resources from a Configured device. This
action returns the device state to Unconfigured.
To unlock the GC configuration, press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
The GC configuration remains unlocked until the GC is
power cycled off and on.
Ignore Ready =
The states of the various hardware elements are among the
factors that determine whether the GC is Ready for analysis.
Under some circumstances, you may not wish to have a
specific element readiness considered in the GC readiness
determination. This parameter lets you make that choice.
The following elements allow readiness to be ignored: inlets,
detectors, the oven, PCM, and auxiliary EPC modules.
For example, suppose an inlet heater is defective but you
don’t plan to use that inlet today. By setting Ignore Ready =
TRUE for that inlet, you can use the rest of the GC. After the
heater is repaired, set Ignore Ready = FALSE or the run could
start before that inlet’s conditions are ready.
To ignore an element's readiness, press [Config], then select
the element. Scroll to Ignore Ready and press [On/Yes] to set it
to True.
To consider an element's readiness, press [Config], then select
the element. Scroll to Ignore Ready and press [Off/No] to set it
to False.
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Advanced User Guide
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Configuration
Information displays
Below are some examples of configuration displays:
[ EPC1 ] = (INLET) (SS) EPC #1 is used for an inlet of type
split/splitless. It is not available for other uses.
[ EPC3 ] = (DET-EPC) (FID)
gases to an FID.
EPC #3 is controlling detector
[ EPC6 ] = (AUX_EPC) (PCM) EPC #6 is controlling a
two- channel pressure control module.
FINLET (OK) 68 watts 21.7 This heater is connected to the
front inlet. Status = OK, meaning that it is ready for use. At
the time that the GC was turned on, the heater was drawing
68 watts and the inlet temperature was 21.7 °C.
[ F-DET ] = (SIGNAL) (FID)
detector is type FID.
The signal board for the front
AUX 2 1 watts (No sensor)
installed or not OK.
The AUX 2 heater is either not
Unconfigured:
Accessory devices requiring GC power or communication
must be assigned these GC resources before they can be
used. To make this hardware element usable, first “Unlock
the GC Configuration” on page 26 then go to the Unconfigured
parameter and press [Mode/Type] to install it. If the
hardware element you are configuring requires selection of
additional parameters, the GC asks for that selection. If no
parameters are required, press [Enter] at the GC prompt to
install that element. You are required to power the GC off
and then power the GC on to complete this configuration.
After restarting the GC, a message reminding you of this
change and its effect on the default method is displayed. If
needed, change your methods to accommodate the new
hardware.
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2
Configuration
Oven
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
Maximum temperature Sets an upper limit to the oven
temperature. Used to prevent accidental damage to columns.
The range is 70 to 450 °C.
Equilibration time The time after the oven approaches its
setpoint before the oven is declared Ready. The range is 0 to
999.99 minutes. Used to ensure that the oven contents have
stabilized before starting another run.
Cryo These setpoints control liquid carbon dioxide (CO2 or
liquid nitrogen (N2) cooling of the oven.
The cryogenic valve lets you operate the oven below ambient
temperature. Minimum attainable oven temperature depends
on the type of valve installed.
The GC senses the presence and type of cryogenic valve and
disallows setpoints if no valve is installed. When cryogenic
cooling is not needed or cryogenic coolant is not available,
the cryogenic operation should be turned off. If this is not
done, proper oven temperature control may not be possible,
particularly at temperatures near ambient.
External oven mode Isothermal internal oven and
programmed external oven used to calculate column flow.
Slow oven cool down mode On reduces the oven fan speed
during the cool down cycle.
To configure the oven
1 Press [Config][Oven].
28
2
Scroll to Maximum temperature. Enter a value and press
[Enter].
3
Scroll to Equilibration time. Enter a value and press [Enter].
4
Scroll to Cryo. Press [On/Yes] or [Off/No]. If On, enter the
setpoints described in “To configure the oven for
cryogenic cooling” on page 29.
5
Scroll to External oven mode. Press [On/Yes] or [Off/No].
Advanced User Guide
Configuration
6
2
Scroll to Slow oven cool down mode. Press [On/Yes] to run
the oven fan at reduced speed during cool down, or
[Off/No] to run it at normal speed.
To configure the oven for cryogenic cooling
All cryogenic setpoints are in the [Config][Oven] parameter
list.
Cryo
[ON] enables cryogenic cooling, [OFF] disables it.
Quick cryo cool This feature is separate from Cryo. Quick
cryo cool makes the oven cool faster after a run than it
would without assistance. This feature is useful when
maximum sample throughput is necessary, however it does
use more coolant. Quick cryo cool turns off soon after the
oven reaches its setpoint and Cryo takes over, if needed.
Ambient temp The temperature in the laboratory. This
setpoint determines the temperature at which cryogenic
cooling is enabled:
• Ambient temp + 25°C, for regular cryo operation
• Ambient temp + 45°C, for Quick Cryo Cool.
Cryo timeout Cryo timeout occurs, and the oven shuts off,
when a run does not start within a specified time (10 to 120
minutes) after the oven equilibrates. Turning cryo timeout
off disables this feature. We recommend that it be turned on
because cryo timeout conserves coolant at the end of a
sequence or if automation fails.
Cryo fault Shuts the oven down if it does not reach setpoint
temperature after 16 minutes of continuous cryo operation.
Note that this is the time to reach the setpoint, not the time
to stabilize and become ready at the setpoint. For example,
with a cool on- column inlet and cryo control in the oven
track mode, it may take the oven 20 to 30 minutes to
achieve readiness.
If the temperature goes below the minimum allowed
temperature (–90°C for liquid nitrogen, –70°C for liquid
CO2), the oven will shut down.
The COC and PTV inlets must use the same cryo type as
configured for the oven.
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2
Configuration
Front Inlet/Back Inlet
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
To configure the Gas type
The GC needs to know what carrier gas is being used.
1 Press [Config][Front Inlet] or [Config][Back Inlet].
2
Scroll to Gas type and press [Mode/Type].
3
Scroll to the gas you will use. Press [Enter].
This completes carrier gas configuration.
To configure the PTV or COC coolant
Press [Config][Front Inlet] or [Config][Back Inlet]. If the inlet has
not been configured previously, a list of available coolants is
displayed. Scroll to the desired coolant and press [Enter]. If
oven cooling is installed, your choices are restricted to the
coolant used by the oven or None.
Cryo type [Mode/Type] displays a list of available coolants.
Scroll to the desired coolant and press [Enter].
If the Cryo type selection is anything other than None,
several other parameters appear.
Cryo [On/Yes] enables cryogenic cooling of the inlet at the
specified Use cryo temperature setpoint, [Off/No] disables
cooling.
Use cryo temperature This setpoint determines the
temperature at which cryogenic cooling is used continuously.
The inlet uses cryogen to achieve the initial setpoint. If the
initial setpoint is below the Use cryo temperature, cryogen is
used continuously to achieve and maintain the setpoint.
Once the inlet temperature program starts, the cryogen will
be turned off when the inlet exceeds the Use cryo temperature.
If the initial setpoint is above the Use cryo temperature,
cryogen is used to cool the inlet until it reaches the setpoint
and then it is turned off. At the end of a run, the inlet waits
until the oven becomes ready before it uses cryogen.
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Configuration
If the inlet is to be cooled during a run, cryogen will be
used to achieve the setpoint. This may have a negative
impact on the chromatographic performance of the oven and
cause distorted peaks.
Cryo timeout Use this setting to conserve cryogenic fluid. If
selected, the instrument shuts down the inlet and cryogenic
(subambient) cooling (if installed) when no run starts in the
number of minutes specified. The setpoint range is 2 to 120
minutes (default 30 minutes). Turning cryo timeout off
disables this feature. We recommend cryo timeout enabling
to conserve coolant at the end of a sequence or if
automation fails. A Post Sequence method could also be
used.
Cryo fault Shuts down the inlet temperature if it does not
reach setpoint in 16 minutes of continuous cryo operation.
Note that this is the time to reach the setpoint, not the time
to stabilize and become ready at the setpoint.
Shutdown behavior
Both Cryo timeout and Cryo fault can cause cryo shutdown.
If this happens, the inlet heater is turned off and the cryo
valve closes. The GC beeps and displays a message.
The inlet heater is monitored to avoid overheating. If the
heater remains on at full power for more than 2 minutes,
the heater is shut down. The GC beeps and displays a
message.
To recover from either condition, turn the GC off, then on,
or enter a new setpoint.
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2
Configuration
To configure the MMI coolant
Press [Config][Front Inlet] or [Config][Back Inlet]. If the inlet has
not been configured previously, a list of available coolants is
displayed. Scroll to the desired coolant and press [Enter].
Cryo type/Cooling type [Mode/Type] displays a list of available
coolants. Scroll to the desired coolant and press [Enter].
Normally, select the coolant type that matches the installed
hardware.
• N2 cryo Select if the N2 option is installed and you are
using LN2 or compressed air.
• CO2 cryo Select if the CO2 option is installed and you
are using LCO2 or compressed air.
• Compressed air Select if the N2 or CO2 option is installed
and you are only using compressed air. If Compressed air is
selected as the Cooling type, air coolant is used to cool
the inlet regardless of the Use cryo temperature setpoint
during the cooling cycle. If the inlet reaches setpoint, the
air coolant is turned off and stays off for the duration of
the cooling cycle. See Cooling the MMI for more
information.
If the Cryo type selection is anything other than None,
several other parameters appear.
Cryo [On/Yes] enables cryogenic cooling of the inlet at the
specified Use cryo temperature setpoint, [Off/No] disables
cooling.
Use cryo temperature If N2 cryo or CO2 cryo is selected as the
Cryo type, this setpoint determines the temperature below
which cryogenic cooling is used continuously to hold the
inlet at setpoint. Set the Use cryo temperature equal to or
higher than the inlet setpoint to cool the inlet and hold the
setpoint until the inlet temperature program exceeds the Use
cryo temperature. If the Use cryo temperature is less than the
inlet setpoint, cryogen will cool the inlet to the initial
setpoint and turn off.
Cryo timeout This parameter is available with N2 cryo and
CO2 cryo Cryo types. Use this setting to conserve cryogenic
fluid. If selected, the instrument shuts down the inlet and
cryogenic cooling when no run starts in the number of
minutes specified. The setpoint range is 2 to 120 minutes
(default 30 minutes). Turning cryo timeout off disables this
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Advanced User Guide
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Configuration
feature. We recommend cryo timeout enabling to conserve
coolant at the end of a sequence or if automation fails. A
Post Sequence method could also be used.
Cryo fault This parameter is available with N2 cryo and CO2
cryo Cryo types. Shuts down the inlet temperature if it does
not reach setpoint in 16 minutes of continuous cryo
operation. Note that this is the time to reach the setpoint,
not the time to stabilize and become ready at the setpoint.
Shutdown behavior
Both Cryo timeout and Cryo fault can cause cryo shutdown.
If this happens, the inlet heater is turned off and the cryo
valve closes. The GC beeps and displays a message.
The inlet heater is monitored to avoid overheating. If the
heater remains on at full power for more than 2 minutes,
the heater is shut down. The GC beeps and displays a
message.
To recover from either condition, turn the GC off, then on,
or enter a new setpoint.
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2
Configuration
Column #
Length The length, in meters, of a capillary column. Enter 0
for a packed column or if the length is not known.
Diameter The inside diameter, in millimeters, of a capillary
column. Enter 0 for a packed column.
Film thickness The thickness, in millimeters, of the
stationary phase for capillary columns.
Inlet
Identifies the source of gas for the column.
Outlet Identifies the device into which the column effluent
flows.
Thermal zone Identifies the device that controls the
temperature of the column.
In_Segment Length The length, in meters, of the In Segment
of a composite column. Enter 0 to disable.
Out_Segment Length The length, in meters, of the Out
Segment of a composite column. Enter 0 to disable.
Segment 2 Length The length, in meters, of the Segment 2 of
a composite column. Enter 0 to disable.
To configure a single column
You define a capillary column by entering its length,
diameter, and film thickness. You then enter the device
controlling the pressure at the Inlet (end of the column), the
device controlling the pressure at the column Outlet, and the
Thermal zone that controls its temperature.
With this information, the instrument can calculate the flow
through the column. This has great advantages when using
capillary columns because it becomes possible to:
• Enter split ratios directly and have the instrument
calculate and set the appropriate flow rates.
• Enter flow rate or head pressure or average linear
velocity. The instrument calculates the pressure needed to
achieve the flow rate or velocity, sets that, and reports all
three values.
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Advanced User Guide
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Configuration
• Perform splitless injections with no need to measure gas
flows.
• Choose any column mode. If the column is not defined,
your choices are limited and vary depending on the inlet.
Except for the simplest configurations, such as a column
connected to a specific inlet and detector, we recommend
that you begin by making a sketch of how the column will be
connected.
1 Press [Config][Col 1] or [Config][Col 2], or press [Config][Aux
Col #] and enter the number of the column to be
configured.
2
Scroll to the Length line, type the column length, in
meters, followed by [Enter].
3
Scroll to Diameter, type the column inside diameter in
microns, followed by [Enter].
4
Scroll to Film thickness, type the film thickness in microns,
followed by [Enter]. The column is now defined.
If you do not know the column dimensions—they are
usually supplied with the column—or if you do not wish
to use the GC calculating features, enter 0 for either
Length or Diameter. The column will be not defined.
5
Scroll to Inlet. Press [Mode/Type] to select a gas pressure
control device for this end of the column. Selections
include the installed GC inlets, and installed Aux and
PCM channels.
Select the appropriate gas pressure control device and
press [Enter].
6
Scroll to Outlet. Press [Mode/Type] to select a gas pressure
control device for this end of the column.
Select the appropriate gas pressure control device and
press [Enter].
• Available choices include the installed Aux and PCM
channels, front and back detectors, and MSD.
• When a detector is selected, the outlet end of the
column is controlled at 0 psig for the FID, TCD, FPD,
NPD, and uECD or vacuum for the MSD.
• Selecting Other enables the Outlet pressure setpoint. If the
column exhausts into a nonstandard detector or
environment (neither ambient pressure nor complete
vacuum), select Other and enter the outlet pressure.
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2
Configuration
7
Scroll to Thermal zone. Press [Mode/Type] to see the
available choices. In most cases this will be GC oven, but
you may have an MSD transfer line heated by an
auxiliary zone, valves in a separately- heated valve box or
other configurations.
Select the appropriate Thermal zone and press [Enter].
8
Set In_Segment Length, Out_Segment Length, and Segment 2
Length to 0 to disable composite column configuration.
See “Composite Columns” on page 42 for information.
This completes configuration for a single capillary column.
Additional notes on column configuration
Packed columns should be configured as column not defined.
To do this, enter 0 for either column length or column
diameter.
You should check configurations for all columns to verify
that they specify the correct pressure control device at each
end. The GC uses this information to determine the flow
path of the carrier gas. Only configure columns that are in
current use in your GC’s carrier gas flow path. Unused
columns configured with the same pressure control device as
a column in the current flow path cause incorrect flow
results.
It is possible, and sometimes appropriate, to configure both
installed columns to the same inlet.
When splitters or unions exist in the carrier gas flow path,
without a GC’s pressure control device monitoring the
common junction point, the individual column flows cannot
be controlled directly by the GC. The GC can only control
the inlet pressure of the upstream column whose inlet end is
attached to a GC’s pressure control device. A column flow
calculator available from Agilent, and provided with Agilent
capillary flow devices, is used for determining pressures and
flows at this type of junction.
Some pneumatic setpoints change with oven temperature
because of changes in column resistance and in gas viscosity.
This may confuse users who observe pneumatics setpoints
changing when their oven temperature changes. However, the
flow condition in the column remains as specified by the
column mode (constant flow or pressure, ramped flow or
pressure) and the initial setpoint values.
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Advanced User Guide
Configuration
2
To view a summary of column connections
To view a summary of column connections, press
[Config][Aux Col #], then press [Enter]. The GC lists the column
connections, for example:
Front Inlet -> Column 1
Column 1 -> Front detector
To configure multiple columns
To configure multiple columns, repeat the procedure above
for each column.
These are the available choices for Inlet, Outlet, and Thermal
zone. Some will not appear on your GC if the specific
hardware is not installed.
Table 1
Choices for column configuration
Inlet
Outlet
Thermal zone
Front inlet
Front detector
GC oven
Back inlet
Back detector
Auxiliary oven
Aux# 1 through 9
MSD
Aux thermal zone 1
PCM A, B, and C
Aux detector
Aux thermal zone 2
Aux PCM A, B, and C
Aux 1 through 9
Unspecified
PCM A, B, and C
Aux PCM A, B, and C
Front inlet
Back inlet
Other
Inlets and outlets
The pressure control devices at the inlet and outlet ends of
a column, or series of columns in a flow path, control its gas
flow. The pressure control device is physically attached to
the column through a connection to a GC inlet, a valve, a
splitter, a union, or other device.
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Configuration
Table 2
Column inlet end
If the column gas flow source is:
Choose:
An inlet (SS, PP, COC, MMI, PTV, VI, or other) with electronic The inlet.
pressure control
A valve, such as gas sampling
The auxiliary (Aux PCM) or pneumatics (PCM) control
module channel that provides gas flow during the inject
cycle.
A splitter with an EPC makeup gas supply
The Aux PCM or EPC channel that provides the makeup gas
A device with a manual pressure controller
Unknown
Similar considerations apply for the column outlet end.
When a column exits to a splitter, select the GC’s pressure
control source attached to the same splitter.
Table 3
Column outlet end
If the column exhausts into
Choose:
A detector
The detector.
A splitter with a makeup gas supply
The Aux PCM or EPC channel that provides makeup gas
flow to the splitter.
A device with a manual pressure controller
Unknown
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Advanced User Guide
Configuration
2
A simple example
An analytical column is attached at its inlet end to a
spit/splitless inlet located at the front of the GC and the
column outlet is attached to an FID located at the front
detector position.
Table 4
Column
Analytical column
Inlet
Analytical column Front split/splitless
Outlet
Thermal zone
Front FID
GC oven
Since only a single column is configured, the GC determines
that it controls the inlet pressure to the column by setting
the front inlet pressure and the outlet pressure is always
atmospheric. The GC can calculate a pressure for the front
inlet that can exactly overcome the resistance to flow
presented by this column at any point during a run.
Slightly more complex example
A precolumn is followed by a AUX 1 pressure controlled
splitter and two analytical columns. This requires three
column descriptions.
Table 5
Precolumn split to two analytical columns
Column
Inlet
Outlet
Thermal zone
1 - Precolumn
Front inlet
AUX 1
GC oven
2 - Analytical column AUX 1
Front detector
GC oven
3 - Analytical column AUX 1
Back detector
GC oven
The GC can calculate the flow through the precolumn using
the precolumns physical properties to calculate the column’s
resistance to flow, along with the front inlet pressure and
the AUX 1 pressure. Your analytical method can set this flow
directly for the precolumn.
For the flow in the two parallel analytical columns 1 and 2,
the GC can use the column’s physical properties to calculate
the split flow through each individual column, at a given
AUX 1 pressure, with both columns exiting to atmospheric
pressure. Your analytical method can only set the flow for
the lowest numbered column in a split, analytical column 2.
If you try to set the flow for column #3, it will be ignored
and the flow for column #2 will be used.
Advanced User Guide
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2
Configuration
If other columns are currently defined, they may not use
AUX 1, Front inlet, Front detector, or Back detector in their
configuration.
Complicated example
The inlet feeds the analytical column which ends at a
three- way splitter. The splitter has the column effluent and
makeup gas coming in, and transfer lines (non- coated
columns) to three different detectors. This is a case where a
sketch is necessary.
Split/splitless inlet
Aux EPC
µECD
FPD
0.507 m x 0.10 mm x 0 µm
MSD
0.532 m x 0.18 mm x 0 µm
1.444 m x 0.18 mm x 0 µm
30 m x 0.25 mm x 0.25 µm HP-MS5
Table 6
Splitter with makeup and multiple detectors
Column
Inlet
Outlet
Thermal zone
1 - 30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 µm
Front inlet
Aux EPC 1
GC oven
2 - 1.444 m × 0.18 mm × 0 µm
Aux EPC 1
MSD
GC oven
3 - 0.507 m × 0.10 mm × 0 µm
Aux EPC 1
Front detector
GC oven
4 - 0.532 m × 0.18 mm × 0 µm
Aux EPC 1
Back detector
GC oven
The oven was chosen for the MSD line since most of it is in
the oven.
As in the previous examples, your analytical method can
control the flow of column # 1 which has a GC pressure
controlled inlet and outlet.
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Advanced User Guide
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Configuration
The flows to the three detectors are based on the pressure
drops through the capillaries and their resistance to flow. An
Agilent flow calculator provided with the capillary flow
splitter device is used to size the length and diameter of
these capillary sections to obtain the desired split ratios.
Your analytical method can set the flow or pressure for
column # 2, the lowest numbered column in the split. Use
the value obtained from the Agilent flow calculator for this
setpoint in your method.
Advanced User Guide
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Configuration
Composite Columns
A composite column is a capillary column that passes
through multiple heating zones. A composite column consists
of a main segment and one or more additional segments.
There may be one segment on the input side of the main
segment (In Segment) and up to two segments on its output
side (Out Segment, Segment 2). Each of the four segments'
lengths, diameters, and film thicknesses can be specified
separately. Also, the zones that determine the temperatures
of each of the four segments are specified separately. The
three additional segments are often uncoated (zero film
thickness) and, serving as connectors, are of shorter length
than the main segment. It is necessary to specify these
additional segments so that the flow- pressure relationship
for the composite column can be determined.
Composite columns differ from multiple columns because for
composite columns, 100% of the column flow continues
through a single column or through multiple column
segments without additional makeup gas.
GC Inlet
Detector
Out segment
MSD
In segment
Analytical column
42
Transfer Line
Segment 2
Advanced User Guide
Configuration
2
To configure composite columns
1 Follow steps 1- 7 on page 36.
Advanced User Guide
2
If using an In Segment, scroll to In_Segment Length and
enter the length, in meters. If not using an In Segment,
enter 0 to disable.
3
If using an Out Segment, scroll to Out_Segment Length and
enter the length, in meters. If not using an Out Segment,
enter 0 to disable.
4
If using a Segment 2, scroll to Segment 2 Length and enter
the length, in meters. If not using a Segment 2, enter 0 to
disable.
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Configuration
LTM Columns
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
Low Thermal Mass (LTM) controllers and columns mount on
the front door of the GC and connect to LVDS connectors
[A- DET 1], [A- DET 2], or [EPC 6].
Press [Config][Aux Col #], enter the desired LTM column
number [1-4], and configure as a composite column. See
“Composite Columns” on page 42.
LTM Series II column modules
If using a LTM Series II column module, the GC obtains the
following parameters from the column module itself during
startup: primary column dimensions (length, id, film
thickness, and basket size), and column maximum and
absolute maximum temperatures.
Configure the column type, the In and Out segment
dimensions, and so forth as needed.
Note that LTM columns can be edited only for certain
parameters: column length (within a small percentage, for
calibration purposes) and id (within a small percentage).
Since the LTM Series II column module contains its column
information, and since the column type is not changeable,
changing other dimensions (for example, film thickness) does
not apply.
See “Composite Columns” on page 42.
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Configuration
Cryo Trap
This discussion assumes that the trap is mounted in position
B, that you use liquid nitrogen coolant and control the trap
with Thermal Aux 1.
Configuration is in several parts:
• Configure the trap to the GC
• Configure a heater to the cryo trap.
• Configure the coolant.
• Configure the user- configurable heater.
• Reboot the GC.
Configure the cryo trap to the GC
1 Press [Config], then [Aux Temp #] and select Thermal Aux 1.
Press [Enter].
2
Press [Mode/Type]. Scroll to Install BINLET with BV Cryo and
press [Enter].
3
Press [Options], select Communications, and press [Enter].
Select Reboot GC and press [On/Yes] twice.
This informs the GC that a cryo trap is installed at position
B.
Configure a heater to the cryo trap
1 Press [Config], then [Aux Temp #], select Thermal Aux 1 and
press [Enter]. Select Auxiliary Type: Unknown and press
[Mode/Type]. Select User Configurable Heater and press
[Enter].
2
Press [Options], select Communications, and press [Enter].
Select Reboot GC and press [On/Yes] twice.
This informs the GC that the heater parameters will be
supplied by the user.
Configure the coolant
The GC can handle only one type of coolant. If the coolant
has already been specified for some other device, then that
same coolant must be specified here.
1 Press [Config], then [Aux Temp #].
2
Advanced User Guide
Select Thermal Aux 1 and press [Enter].
45
2
Configuration
3
Scroll to Cryo Type (Valve BV).
If the value is not N2, press [Mode/Type], select N2 Cryo,
press [Enter] and then [Clear].
This tells the GC what coolant will be used.
Configure the user-configurable heater
Many of the following steps tell you to reboot the GC. Ignore
these requests by pressing [Clear]. Do not reboot until
specifically told to do so in these instructions.
1 Press [Config] and select Aux 1. Press [Enter].
2
Enter the following control values. Press [Enter], then
[Clear] after each one.
a Proportional Gain—5.30
b Integral Time—10
c Derivative Time—1.00
d Mass (Watt- sec/deg)—18
e Power (Watts)—To find the watts to set here, scroll to
Back Inlet Status (BINLET). Note the watts value and enter
it for this parameter.
f
Cryo Control Mode—Press [Mode/Type]. The first line
should already be PTV. Select Cryo Trap.
g Zone Control mode—Press [Mode/Type] and select PTV.
h Sensor—Press [Mode/Type] and select Thermocouple.
i
Maximum Setpoint—400
j
Maximum Programming Rate—720
Reboot the GC
Press [Options], select Communications, and press [Enter]. Select
Reboot GC and press [On/Yes] twice.
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2
Configuration
Front Detector/Back Detector/Aux Detector/Aux Detector 2
See Ignore Ready = and “Unconfigured:” on page 27.
To configure the makeup/reference gas
The makeup gas line of your detector parameter list changes
depending on your instrument configuration.
If you have an inlet with the column not defined, the
makeup flow is constant. If you are operating with column
defined, you have a choice of two makeup gas modes. See
“About Makeup Gas” on page 312 for details.
1 Press [Config][device], where [device] is one of the
following:
• [Front Det]
• [Back Det]
• [Aux detector 1]
• [Aux detector 2]
2
Scroll to Makeup gas type (or Makeup/reference gas type) and
press [Mode/Type].
3
Scroll to the correct gas and press [Enter].
Lit offset
The GC monitors the difference between the detector output
with the flame lit and the output when the flame is not lit.
If this difference falls below the setpoint, the GC assumes
that the flame has gone out and tries to reignite it. See “FID
automatic reignition (Lit offset)” on page 315 for details.
To configure the FPD heaters
The flame photometric detector (FPD) uses two heaters, one
in the transfer line near the base of the detector and one
near the combustion chamber. When configuring the FPD
heaters, select Install Detector 2 htr rather than the default
Install Detector (FPD). This two heater configuration controls
the detector body using the detector heated zone, and the
transfer line using Thermal Aux 1 for a front detector or
Thermal Aux 2 for a back detector.
Advanced User Guide
47
2
Configuration
To ignore the FID or FPD ignitor
WA R N I N G
In general, do not ignore the ignitor for normal operation. Ignoring
the ignitor also disables the Lit Offset and autoignition features,
which work together to shut down the detector if the detector
flame goes out. If the flame goes out under manual ignition, GC
will continue to flow hydrogen fuel gas into the detector and lab.
Use this feature only if the ignitor is defective, and only until the
ignitor is repaired.
If using an FID or FPD, you can ignite the flame manually
by setting the GC to ignore the ignitor.
1 Press [Config][Front Det] or [Config][Back Det].
2
Scroll to Ignore Ignitor.
3
Press [On/Yes] to ignore the ignitor (or [Off/No] to enable
the ignitor.
When Ignore Ignitor is set to True, the GC does not try to light
the flame using the ignitor. The GC also completely ignores
the Lit Offset setpoint and does not attempt autoignition. This
means that the GC cannot determine if the flame is lit, and
will not shut down the fuel gas.
48
Advanced User Guide
Configuration
2
Analog out 1/Analog out 2
Fast peaks
The GC allows you to output analog data at two speeds. The
faster speed—to be used only with the FID, FPD, and
NPD—allows minimum peak widths of 0.004 minutes (8 Hz
bandwidth), while the standard speed—which can be used
with all detectors— allows minimum peak widths of 0.01
minutes (3.0 Hz bandwidth).
To use fast peaks:
1 Press [Config][Analog out 1] or [Config][Analog out 2].
2
Scroll to Fast peaks and press [On/Yes].
The fast peaks feature does not apply to digital output.
If you are using the fast peaks feature, your integrator must be
fast enough to process data coming from the GC. Integrator
bandwidth should be at least 15 Hz.
Advanced User Guide
49
2
Configuration
Valve Box
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
The valve box mounts on top of the column oven. It may
contain up to four valves mounted on heated blocks. Each
block can accommodate two valves.
Valve positions on the blocks are numbered. We suggest that
valves be installed in the blocks in numeric order.
All heated valves in a valve box are controlled by the same
temperature setpoint.
To assign a GC power source to a valve box heater
1 Unlock the GC configuration, press the [Options] key, select
Keyboard & Display and press the [Enter] key. Scroll down to
Hard Configuration Lock and press the [off] button.
2
Press [Config], scroll to Valve Box and press [Enter].
3
With Unconfigured selected, press [Mode/type], select one of
the following and press [Enter].
• Install heater A1 - for a valve box containing a single
heater plugged into the connector labeled A1 on the
valve box bracket.
• Install Heater A2 - for a valve box containing a single
heater plugged into the connector labeled A2 on the
valve box bracket.
• Install 2 htr A1 & A2 - for a valve box containing two
heaters plugged into the connectors labeled AI and A2
on the valve box bracket.
The valve box bracket is located inside the GC right side
electrical compartment in the upper right location.
4
When prompted by the GC, turn the power off then on
again.
This completes the configuration of the valve box. To set the
valve box temperature for your method press the [valve #]
key, and scroll to Valve Box.
50
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
Thermal Aux
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
The auxiliary thermal controllers provide up to three
channels of temperature control. These controllers are
labeled Thermal Aux 1, Thermal Aux 2, and Thermal Aux 3.
To assign a GC power source to an Aux thermal zone
Devices such as valve boxes and transfer lines have heaters
which can be plugged into one of several connectors on the
GC. Before use, you must configure these devices so that the
GC knows the type of device plugged into the connector
(inlet heater, detector heater, transfer line heater, and so on)
and how to control it.
This procedure assigns the heater power source to the
Thermal Aux 1, Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3
temperature control zone.
1 Unlock the GC configuration. Press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 and press [Enter].
3
With Unconfigured selected, press [Mode/Type], and select:
• Install Heater A1 to configure a valve box heater plugged
into the valve box bracket plug labeled A1.
• Install Heater A2 to configure a valve box heater plugged
into the valve box bracket plug labeled A2.
• If installing a transfer line, scroll to the line which
describes the transfer line type (MSD Transfer, Ion Trap
GCHI, RIS Transfer, and so on) and its GC connector
(F-DET, A1, BINLET, and so on). For example, for an MSD
transfer line connected to A1, select MSD Transfer A1.
Advanced User Guide
4
Press [Enter] after making the selection.
5
When prompted by the GC, turn the power off then on
again.
51
2
Configuration
For devices such as a valve box, inlet, or detector,
configuration is complete. For other devices, next configure
the specific device type:
1 Unlock the GC configuration. Press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auxiliary type, press [Mode/Type], scroll to and
select the desired device type, and press [Enter]. Types
may include:
• Cryo focus
• Cryo trap
• AED transfer line
• Nickel catalyst
• ICMPS argon preheat
• ICMPS transfer line
• ICPMS injector
• Ion Trap GC Heated Interface
• G3520 Transfer Line
• MSD transfer line
• User Configurable
To configure a MSD transfer line heater
1 Check that a power source for the MSD heater was
assigned. See “To assign a GC power source to an Aux
thermal zone” on page 51.
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 depending on where the
MSD heater was assigned, and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auxiliary type, press [Mode/Type], scroll to and
select the MSD transfer line, and press [Enter].
To configure a nickel catalyst heater
1 Check that a power source for the Nickel Catalyst heater
was assigned. See “To assign a GC power source to an
52
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
Aux thermal zone” on page 51.
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 depending on where the
Nickel Catalyst heater was assigned, and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auxiliary type, press [Mode/Type], scroll to and
select Nickel catalyst, and press [Enter].
To configure an AED transfer line heater
1 Check that a power source for the AED transfer line
heater was assigned. See “To assign a GC power source to
an Aux thermal zone” on page 51.
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 depending on where the
AED transfer line heater was assigned, and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auxiliary type, press [Mode/Type], scroll to and
select the AED transfer line, and press [Enter].
To configure an ion trap transfer line heater
1 Check that a power source for the ion trap transfer line
heater was assigned. See “To assign a GC power source to
an Aux thermal zone” on page 51.
Advanced User Guide
2
Press [Config][Aux Temp #] and scroll to Thermal Aux 1,
Thermal Aux 2, or Thermal Aux 3 depending on where the ion
trap transfer line heater was assigned, and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auxiliary type, press [Mode/Type], scroll to and
select Ion Trap GC Heated Interface, and press [Enter].
53
2
Configuration
PCM A/PCM B/PCM C
See “Unconfigured:” on page 27 and “Ignore Ready =” on
page 26.
A pressure control module (PCM) provides two channels of
gas control.
Channel 1 is a simple forward- pressure regulator that
maintains a constant pressure at its output. With a fixed
downstream restrictor, it provides constant flow.
Channel 2 is more versatile. With the normal flow direction
(in at the threaded connector, out via the coiled tubing), it is
similar to channel 1. However with the flow direction
reversed (some extra fittings will be needed), it becomes a
back- pressure regulator that maintains a constant pressure
at its inlet.
Thus channel 2 (reversed) behaves as a controlled leak. If
the inlet pressure drops below setpoint, the regulator closes
down. If inlet pressure rises above setpoint, the regulator
bleeds off gas until the pressure returns to setpoint.
To assign a GC communication source to a PCM
1 Unlock the GC configuration, press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
2
Press [Config][Aux EPC #], scroll to a PCMx and press
[Enter].
3
With Unconfigured selected, press [Mode/Type], select Install
EPCx and press [Enter].
4
When prompted by the GC, turn the power off then on
again.
To configure the other parameters on this PCM, see To
configure a PCM.
To configure a PCM
1 Press [Config][Aux EPC #], scroll to the PCMx and press
[Enter].
2
54
Scroll to Gas type, press [Mode/Type], make a selection and
press [Enter].
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
This completes configuration for Channel 1. The rest of the
entries refer to Channel 2.
3
Scroll to Aux gas type, press [Mode/Type], make a selection
and press [Enter].
4
Scroll to Aux Mode:, press [Mode/Type], select one of the
following and press [Enter]:
• Forward Pressure Control - Aux channel
• Back Pressure Control- Aux channel
For a definition of these terms see “Pressure Control
Modules” on page 168.
The pressure control mode for the main channel is set by
pressing [Aux EPC #]. Select Mode:, press [Mode/Type], select
the mode and press [Enter].
Advanced User Guide
55
2
Configuration
Pressure aux 1,2,3/Pressure aux 4,5,6/Pressure aux 7,8,9
See Ignore Ready = and “Unconfigured:” on page 27.
An auxiliary pressure controller provides three channels of
forward- pressure regulation. Three modules can be installed
for a total of nine channels.
The numbering of the channels depends on where the
controller is installed. See “Auxiliary Pressure Controllers”
on page 171 for details. Within a single module, channels
are numbered from left to right (as seen from the back of
the GC) and are labeled on the AUX EPC module.
To assign a GC communication source to an Aux EPC
1 Unlock the GC configuration, press [Options], select
Keyboard & Display and press [Enter]. Scroll down to Hard
Configuration Lock and press [Off/No].
2
Press [Config][Aux EPC #], select Aux EPC 1,2,3 or Aux EPC
4,5,6 or Aux EPC 7,8,9 and press [Enter].
3
With Unconfigured selected, press [Mode/Type], select Install
EPCx and press [Enter].
4
When prompted by the GC, turn the power off then on
again.
To configure the other parameters on this EPC, see To
configure an auxiliary pressure channel.
To configure an auxiliary pressure channel
1 Press [Config][Aux EPC #], select Aux EPC 1,2,3 or Aux EPC 4,5,6
or Aux EPC 7,8,9 and press [Enter].
56
2
Select Chan x Gas type, press [Mode/Type], select the gas
that is plumbed to the channel and press [Enter].
3
If necessary, repeat the above step for the other two
channels on this EPC module.
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
Status
The [Status] key has two tables associated with it. You switch
between them by pressing the key.
The Ready/Not Ready status table
This table lists parameters that are Not Ready or gives you a
Ready for Injection display. If there are any faults, warnings, or
method mismatches present, they are displayed here.
The setpoint status table
This table lists setpoints compiled from the active parameter
lists on the instrument. This is a quick way to view active
setpoints during a run without having to open multiple lists.
To configure the setpoint status table
You can change the order of the list. You might want the
three most important setpoints to appear in the window
when you open the table.
1 Press [Config][Status].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to the setpoint that should appear first and press
[Enter]. This setpoint will now appear at the top of the
list.
3
Scroll to the setpoint that should appear second and
press [Enter]. This setpoint will now be the second item
on the list.
4
And so on, until the list is in the order you wish.
57
2
Configuration
Time
Press [Time] to open this function. The first line always
displays the current date and time, and the last line always
displays a stopwatch. The two middle lines vary:
Between runs
During a run
run.
Show last and next (calculated) run times.
Show time elapsed and time remaining in the
During Post Run
time.
Show last run time and remaining Post Run
To set time and date
1 Press [Config][Time].
2
Select Time zone (hhmm) and enter the local time offset
from GMT using a 24 hour format.
3
Select Time (hhmm) and enter the local time.
4
Select Date (ddmmyy) and enter the date.
To use the stopwatch
1 Press [Time].
58
2
Scroll to the time= line.
3
To begin the timed period press [Enter].
4
To stop the timed period press [Enter].
5
Press [Clear] to reset the stopwatch.
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
Valve #
Up to 4 valves can be mounted in a temperature- controlled
valve box and are normally wired to the valve box bracket
V1 through V4 plugs, located inside the electrical
compartment. Additional valves or other devices (4 through
8) can be wired using the plug labeled EVENT on the back of
the GC.
To configure a valve
1 Press [Config][Valve #] and enter the number (1 to 8) of
the valve you are configuring. The current valve type is
displayed.
2
To change the valve type, press [Mode/Type], select the
new valve type, and press [Enter].
Valve types
• Sampling Two- position (load and inject) valve. In load
position, an external sample stream flows through an
attached (gas sampling) or internal (liquid sampling) loop
and out to waste. In inject position, the filled sampling
loop is inserted into the carrier gas stream. When the
valve switches from Load to Inject, a run starts if one is
not already in progress. See the example in “Gas sampling
valve” on page 360.
• Switching Two- position valve with four, six, or more
ports. These are general- purpose valves used for such
tasks as column selection, column isolation, and many
others. For an example of valve control, see “Simple valve:
column selection” on page 359.
• Multiposition Also called a stream selection valve. It
selects one from a number of gas streams and feeds it to
a sampling valve. The actuator may be ratchet- (advances
the valve one position each time it is activated) or
motor- driven. An example that combines a stream
selection valve with a gas sampling valve is on page 361.
• Remote start Available selection when configuring valve
#7 or #8 only. Use this selection when wires controlling
an external device are attached to an internal pair of
contacts controlled by the GC.
• Other
Something else.
• Not installed
Advanced User Guide
Self- explanatory.
59
2
Configuration
Front injector/Back injector
The GC supports three models of samplers.
For the 7693A and 7650A samplers, the GC recognizes
which injector is plugged into which connector, INJ1 or INJ2.
No configuration is needed. To move an injector from one
inlet to another requires no settings: the GC detects the
injector position.
To configure the 7693A sampler system, see the 7693A
Installation, Operation, and Maintenance manual. To
configure the 7650A sampler system, see the 7650A
Installation, Operation, and Maintenance manual.
For the 7683 series samplers, normally the front inlet’s
injector is plugged into the connection on the rear of the GC
labeled INJ1. The rear inlet’s injector is plugged into the
connection on the rear of the GC labeled INJ2.
When a GC shares a single 7683 injector between two inlets,
the injector is moved from one inlet to the other and the
injector’s plug- in on the rear of the GC is switched.
To move the 7683 injector from one inlet on the GC to
another without changing the injector’s plug- in, use the
Front/Back tower parameter. See “To move a 7683 injector
between front and back positions” on page 61.
Solvent Wash Mode (7683 ALS)
This section applies to the 7683 ALS system. To configure
the 7693A sampler system, see the 7693A Installation,
Operation, and Maintenance manual.
Depending upon the installed injector and turret, these
parameters may be available to configure multiple solvent
wash bottles usage. If necessary, refer to your injector user
documentation for details.
A, B—Use solvent bottle A if injector uses solvent A washes
and solvent bottle B if injector uses solvent B washes.
A-A2, B-B2—Use solvent bottles A and A2 if injector uses
solvent A washes and solvent bottles B and B2 if injector
uses solvent B washes. The injector alternates between both
bottles.
60
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
A-A3, B-B3—Use solvent bottles A, A2, and A3 if injector uses
solvent A washes and solvent bottles B, B2, and B3 if
injector uses solvent B washes. The injector alternates
between all bottles.
To configure an injector (7683 ALS)
This section applies to the 7683 ALS system. To configure
the 7693A sampler system, see the 7693A Installation,
Operation, and Maintenance manual. To configure the 7650A
sampler system, see the 7650A Installation, Operation, and
Maintenance manual.
1 Press [Config][Front Injector] or [Config][Back Injector].
2
Scroll to Front/Back tower.
3
Press [Off/No] to change the present tower position from
INJ1 to INJ2 or from INJ2 to INJ1.
4
If the installed turret has locations for multiple solvent
bottles, scroll to Wash Mode, press [Mode/Type], and then
select 1, 2, or 3 bottles for each solvent and press [Enter].
5
Scroll to [Syringe size]. Enter the size of the syringe that is
installed and press [Enter].
To move a 7683 injector between front and back positions
This section applies only to the 7683 ALS system. (The
7693A system automatically determines the current injector
location.)
If only one injector is installed on the GC, move it from the
front to back inlet and reconfigure the GC as described
below:
1 Press [Config][Front Injector] or [Config][Back Injector].
2
Scroll to Front/Back tower.
3
Press [Off/No] to change the present tower position from
INJ1 to INJ2 or from INJ2 to INJ1.
If you press [Config], then scroll down, you will see that
the only configurable injector is now in the other
position.
4
Advanced User Guide
Lift the injector and place it over the mounting post for
the other inlet.
61
2
Configuration
Sample tray (7683 ALS)
This section applies to the 7683 ALS system. To configure
the 7693A sampler system, see the 7693A Installation,
Operation, and Maintenance manual.
1 Press [Config][Sample Tray].
2
If the vial gripper is touching vials either too high or too
low for reliable pickup, scroll to Grip offset and press
[Mode/Type] to select:
• Up to increase the gripper arm pickup height
• Default
• Down to decrease the gripper arm pickup height
3
Scroll to Bar Code Reader.
4
Press [On/Yes] or [Off/No] to control the following bar
code setpoints:
• Enable 3 of 9—encodes both letters and numbers, plus a
few punctuation marks, and message length can be
varied to suit both the amount of data to be encoded
and the space available
• Enable 2 of 5—restricted to numbers but does allow
variable message length
• Enable UPC code—restricted to numbers- only with fixed
message length
• Enable checksum—verifies that the checksum in the
message matches the checksum calculated from the
message characters, but does not include the checksum
character in the returned message
5
62
Enter 3 as the BCR Position when the reader is installed in
the front of the tray. Positions 1–19 are available.
Advanced User Guide
2
Configuration
Instrument
1 Press [Config]. Scroll to Instrument and press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Serial #. Enter a serial number and press [Enter].
This function can only be done by Agilent service
personnel.
3
Scroll to Auto prep run. Press [On/Yes] to enable Auto prep
run, [Off/No] to disable it. See “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184 for details.
4
Scroll to Zero Init Data Files.
• Press [On/Yes] to enable it. When it is On, the GC
immediately begins to subtract the current detector
output from all future values. This applies only to
digital output, and is useful when a non- Agilent data
system has problems with baseline data that is
non- zero.
• Press [Off/No] to disable it. This is appropriate for all
Agilent data systems.
Advanced User Guide
5
Front inlet type: and Back inlet type: are both information
displays. The values are determined by the type of flow
modules installed.
6
The Oven line displays the GC power configuration.
7
Press [Clear] to return to the Config menu or any other
function to end.
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2
64
Configuration
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
3
Options
About Options 66
Calibration 67
Maintaining EPC calibration—inlets, detectors, PCM, and AUX 67
Auto zero septum purge 68
Auto flow zero 67
Zero conditions 68
Zero intervals 68
To zero a specific flow or pressure sensor 68
To zero all pressure sensors in all modules 69
Column calibration 69
Communication 73
Configuring the IP address for the GC 73
Keyboard and Display 74
Agilent Technologies
65
3
Options
About Options
The [Options] key is used for a group of functions that are
usually set on installation and seldom changed afterward. It
accesses this menu:
Calibration
Communication
Keyboard and Display
66
Advanced User Guide
Options
3
Calibration
Press [Calibration] to list the parameters that can be
calibrated. These include:
• Inlets
• Detectors
• ALS
• Columns
• Oven
• Atmospheric pressure
In general, you will only need to calibrate the EPC modules
and capillary columns. ALS, oven, and atmospheric pressure
calibration should only be performed be trained service
personnel.
The calibration displays are discussed in the Agilent 7890A
Service Manual.
Maintaining EPC calibration—inlets, detectors, PCM, and AUX
The EPC gas control modules contain flow and/or pressure
sensors that are calibrated at the factory. Sensitivity (slope
of the curve) is quite stable, but zero offset requires periodic
updating.
Flow sensors
The split/splitless and purged packed inlet modules use flow
sensors. If the Auto flow zero feature (see page 67) is on, they
are zeroed automatically after each run. This is the
recommended way. They can also be zeroed manually—see
“To zero a specific flow or pressure sensor.”
Pressure sensors
All EPC control modules use pressure sensors. They can be
zeroed as a group or individually. There is no automatic zero
for pressure sensors.
Auto flow zero
A useful calibration option is Auto flow zero. When it is On,
after the end of a run the GC shuts down the flow of gases
to an inlet, waits for the flow to drop to zero, measures and
Advanced User Guide
67
3
Options
stores the flow sensor output, and turns the gas back on.
This takes about two seconds. The zero offset is used to
correct future flow measurements.
To activate this, select Calibration on the Options menu, then
choose either Front inlet or Back inlet, press [Enter], and turn
Auto flow zero on.
Auto zero septum purge
This is similar to Auto flow zero, but is for the septum purge
flow.
Zero conditions
Flow sensors are zeroed with the carrier gas connected and
flowing.
Pressure sensors are zeroed with the supply gas line
disconnected from the gas control module.
Zero intervals
Table 7
Flow and Pressure Sensor Zero Intervals
Sensor type
Module type
Zero interval
Flow
All
Use Auto flow zero and/or
Auto zero septum purge
Pressure
Inlets
Packed columns
Every 12 months
Small capillary columns
(id 0.32 mm or less)
Every 12 months
Large capillary columns
(id > 0.32 mm)
At 3 months, at 6 months,
then every 12 months
Auxiliary channels
Every 12 months
Detector gases
Every 12 months
To zero a specific flow or pressure sensor
1 Press [Options], scroll to Calibration, and press [Enter].
2
Scroll to the module to be zeroed and press [Enter].
3
Set the flow or pressure:
Flow sensors. Verify that the gas is connected and
flowing (turned on).
68
Advanced User Guide
3
Options
Pressure sensors. Disconnect the gas supply line at the
back of the GC. Turning it off is not adequate; the valve
may leak.
4
Scroll to the desired zero line.
5
Press [On/Yes] to zero or [Clear] to cancel.
6
Reconnect any gas line disconnected in step 3 and
restore operating flows
To zero all pressure sensors in all modules
1 Press [Service Mode], scroll to Diagnostics, and press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Electronics and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Pneumatics and press [Enter].
4
Disconnect the gas supply lines at the back of the GC.
(Turning them off is not adequate; the valves may leak.)
5
Scroll to Zero all pressure sensors.
6
Press [On/Yes] to zero or [Clear] to cancel.
7
Reconnect all gas supply lines and restore operating
pressures.
Column calibration
As you use a capillary column, you may occasionally trim off
portions, changing the column length. If measuring the
actual length is impractical, and if you are using EPC with a
defined column, you can use an internal calibration routine
to estimate the actual column length. Similarly, if you do not
know the column internal diameter or believe it is
inaccurate, you can estimate the diameter from related
measurements.
Before you can calibrate the column, make sure that:
• You are using a capillary column
• The column is defined
• There are no oven ramps
• The column gas source (usually the inlet) is On and
non- zero
Also note that column calibration fails if the calculated
column length correction is > 5 m, or if the calculated
diameter correction is > 20 μm.
Advanced User Guide
69
3
Options
Calibration modes
There are three ways to calibrate the column length and/or
diameter:
• Calibrate using an actual measured column flow rate
• Calibrate using an unretained peak time (elution time)
• Calibrate both length and diameter using flow rate and
elution time
CAUTION
When you measure the column flow rate, be sure to convert the
measurement to normal temperature and pressure if your
measurement device does not report data at NTP. If you enter
uncorrected data, the calibration will be wrong.
To estimate the actual column length or diameter from an elution
time
1 Set oven ramp 1 to 0.00, then verify that the column is
defined.
2
Perform a run using an unretained compound and record
the elution time.
3
Press [Options], scroll to Calibration and press [Enter].
4
From the calibration list, select the column and press
[Enter]. The GC displays the current calibration mode for
the column.
5
To recalibrate or to change calibration mode, press
[Mode/Type] to see the column calibration mode menu.
6
Scroll to Length or Diameter and press [Enter]. The
following choices appear:
• Mode
• Measured flow
• Unretained peak
• Calculated length or Calculated diameter
• Not calibrated
70
7
Scroll to Unretained peak and enter the actual elution time
from the run performed above.
8
When you press [Enter], the GC will estimate the column
length or diameter based on the elution time input and
will now use that data for all calculations.
Advanced User Guide
3
Options
To estimate the actual column length or diameter from the
measured flow rate
1 Set oven ramp 1 to 0.00, then verify that the column is
defined.
CAUTION
2
Set the oven, inlet, and detectors temperatures to 35 °C
and allow them to cool to room temperature.
3
Remove the column from the detector.
When you measure the column flow rate, be sure to convert the
measurement to normal temperature and pressure if your
measurement device does not report data at NTP. If you enter
uncorrected data, the calibration will be wrong.
4
Measure the actual flow rate through the column using a
bubble meter. Record the value. Reinstall the column.
5
Press [Options], scroll to Calibration and press [Enter].
6
From the calibration list, select the column and press
[Enter]. The GC displays the current calibration mode for
the column.
7
To recalibrate or to change calibration mode, press
[Mode/Type] to see the column calibration mode menu.
8
Scroll to Length or Diameter and press [Enter]. The
following choices appear:
• Mode
• Measured flow
• Unretained peak
• Calculated length or Calculated diameter
• Not calibrated
9
Scroll to Measured flow and enter the corrected column
flow rate (in mL min) from the run performed above.
10 When you press [Enter], the GC will estimate the column
length or diameter based on the elution time input and
will now use that data for all calculations.
To estimate the actual column length and diameter
1 Set oven ramp 1 to 0.00, then verify that the column is
defined.
2
Advanced User Guide
Perform a run using an unretained compound and record
the elution time.
71
3
Options
CAUTION
3
Set the oven, inlet, and detectors temperatures to 35 °C
and allow them to cool to room temperature.
4
Remove the column from the detector.
When you measure the column flow rate, be sure to convert the
measurement to normal temperature and pressure if your
measurement device does not report data at NTP. If you enter
uncorrected data, the calibration will be wrong.
5
Measure the actual flow rate through the column using a
bubble meter. Record the value. Reinstall the column.
6
Press [Options], scroll to Calibration and press [Enter].
7
From the calibration list, select the column and press
[Enter]. The GC displays the current calibration mode for
the column.
8
To recalibrate or to change calibration mode, press
[Mode/Type] to see the column calibration mode menu.
9
Scroll to Length & diameter and press [Enter]. The following
choices appear:
• Mode
• Measured flow
• Unretained peak
• Calculated length
• Calculated diameter
• Not calibrated
10 Scroll to Measured flow and enter the corrected column
flow rate (in mL min) from the run performed above.
11 Scroll to Unretained peak and enter the actual elution time
from the run performed above.
12 When you press [Enter], the GC will estimate the column
length or diameter based on the elution time input and
will now use that data for all calculations.
72
Advanced User Guide
3
Options
Communication
Configuring the IP address for the GC
For network (LAN) operation, the GC needs an IP address. It
can get this from a DHCP server, or it can be entered
directly from the keyboard. In either case, see your LAN
administrator.
To use a DHCP server
1 Press [Options]. Scroll to Communications and press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Enable DHCP and press [On/Yes]. When prompted,
turn the GC off and then on again.
To set the LAN address at the keyboard
1 Press [Options]. Scroll to Communications and press [Enter].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Enable DHCP and, if necessary, press [Off/No].
Scroll to Reboot GC. Press [On/Yes] and [On/Yes].
3
Press [Options]. Scroll to Communications and press [Enter].
4
Scroll to IP. Enter the numbers of the GC IP address,
separated by dots, and press [Enter]. A message tells you
to power cycle the instrument. Do not power cycle yet.
Press [Clear].
5
Scroll to GW. Enter the Gateway number and press
[Enter]. A message tells you to power cycle the
instrument. Do not power cycle yet. Press [Clear].
6
Scroll to SM and press [Mode/Type]. Scroll to the
appropriate subnet mask from the list given and press
[Enter]. A message tells you to power cycle the
instrument. Do not power cycle yet. Press [Clear].
7
Scroll to Reboot GC. Press [On/Yes] and [On/Yes] to power
cycle the instrument and apply the LAN setpoints.
73
3
Options
Keyboard and Display
Press [Options] and scroll to Keyboard and Display. Press
[Mode/Type].
The following parameters are turned on and off by pressing
the [On/Yes] or [Off/No] keys.
Keyboard lock These keys and functions are operational
when the keyboard lock is On:
[Start], [Stop], and [Prep Run]
[Load][Method] and [Load][Seq]
[Seq]—to edit existing sequences
[Seq Control]—to start or stop sequences.
When Keyboard lock is On, other keys and functions are not
operational. Note that an Agilent data system can
independently lock the GC keyboard. To edit GC setpoints
using the GC keyboard, turn off both the GC keyboard
lock and the data system keyboard lock.
Hard configuration lock On prevents keyboard configuration
changes; Off removes lock.
Key click
Click sound when keys are pressed.
Warning beep
Allows you to hear warning beeps.
Warning beep mode There are 9 different warning sounds
that may be selected. This allows you to give multiple GCs
individual “voices”. We suggest you experiment.
Method modified beep Turn on for high pitched beep when
method setpoint is modified.
Press [Mode/Type] to change the pressure units and radix
type.
Pressure units
psi—pounds per square inch, lb/in2
bar—absolute cgs unit of pressure, dyne/cm2
kPa—mks unit of pressure, 103 N/m2
Language
74
Select English or Chinese.
Advanced User Guide
Options
Radix type
1,00
3
Determines the numeric separator type—1.00 or
Display saver If On, dims the display after a period of
inactivity. If Off, disabled.
Advanced User Guide
75
3
76
Options
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
About Chromatographic Checkout 78
To Prepare for Chromatographic Checkout 79
To Check FID Performance 81
To Check TCD Performance 86
To Check NPD Performance 91
To Check uECD Performance 96
To Check FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5953) 101
To Verify FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5245, Japan) 108
Agilent Technologies
77
4
Chromatographic Checkout
About Chromatographic Checkout
The tests described in this section provide basic
confirmation that the GC and detector can perform
comparably to factory condition. However, as detectors and
the other parts of the GC age, detector performance can
change. The results presented here represent typical outputs
for typical operating conditions and are not specifications.
The tests assume the following:
• Use of an automatic liquid sampler. If not available, use a
suitable manual syringe instead of the syringe listed.
• Use of a 10- µL syringe in most cases. However, a 5- µL
syringe is an acceptable substitute for the 1- µL injections
described here.
• Use of the septa and other hardware (liners, jets,
adapters, and so forth) described. If you substitute other
hardware, performance can vary.
Selected tests described in this section can be run
automatically using the documentation and utility DVD
provided with your GC.
78
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
To Prepare for Chromatographic Checkout
Because of the differences in chromatographic performance
associated with different consumables, Agilent strongly
recommends using the parts listed here for all checkout
tests. Agilent also recommends installing new consumable
parts whenever the quality of the installed ones is not
known. For example, installing a new liner and septum
ensures that they will not contribute any contamination to
the results.
1 Check the indicators/dates on any gas supply traps.
Replace/recondition expended traps.
2
Install new consumable parts for the inlet and prepare
the correct injector syringe (and needle, as needed).
Table 8
Recommended parts for checkout by inlet type
Recommended part for checkout
Part number
Split splitless inlet
Syringe, 10-µL
5181-1267
O-ring
5188-5365
Septum
5183-4757
Liner
5062-3587 or 5181-3316
Multimode inlet
Syringe, 10-µL
5181-1267
O-ring
5188-6405
Septum
5183-4757
Liner
5188-6568
Packed column inlet
Syringe, 10-µL
5181-1267
O-ring
5080-8898
Septum
5183-4757
Cool on-column inlet
Advanced User Guide
Septum
5183-4758
Septum nut
19245-80521
Syringe, 5-µL on-column
5182-0836
0.32-mm needle for 5-µL syringe
5182-0831
79
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 8
Recommended parts for checkout by inlet type (continued)
Recommended part for checkout
Part number
7693A ALS: Needle support insert, COC
G4513-40529
7683B ALS: Needle support assembly for
0.25/0.32 mm injections
G2913-60977
Insert, fused silica, 0.32-mm id
19245-20525
PTV inlet
80
Syringe, 10-µL—for septum head
Syringe, 10-µL, 23/42/HP—for septumless head
5181-1267
5181-8809
Inlet adapter, Graphpak-2M
5182-9761
Silver seal for Graphpak-2M
5182-9763
Glass liner, multibaffle
5183-2037
PTFE ferrule (septumless head)
5182-9748
Microseal replacement (if installed)
5182-3444
Ferrule, Graphpak-3D
5182-9749
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
To Check FID Performance
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, HP- 5 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J- 413)
• FID performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(5188- 5372)
• Chromatographic- grade isooctane
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Capillary column jet installed. If not, select and install
a capillary column jet.
• Capillary column adapter installed (adaptable FID
only). If not, install it.
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium as carrier gas, nitrogen, hydrogen, and air.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL solvent vial with diffusion cap filled with
isooctane and inserted in Solvent A injector position.
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Bake out the evaluation column for at least 30 min at
180 °C. (See the procedure for the SS, PP, COC, MMI,
or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Be sure to configure the column.
5
Check the FID baseline output. The output should be
between 5 pA and 20 pA and relatively stable. (If using a
gas generator or ultra pure gas, the signal may stabilize
below 5 pA.) If the output is outside this range or
unstable, resolve this problem before continuing.
6
If the output is too low:
• Check that the electrometer is on.
Advanced User Guide
81
4
Chromatographic Checkout
• Check that the flame is lit (“To light the FID flame” on
page 315).
7
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 9.
Table 9
FID Checkout Conditions
Column and sample
Type
HP-5, 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J-413)
Sample
FID checkout 5188-5372
Column flow
6.5 mL/min
Column mode
Constant flow
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Mode
Splitless
Purge flow
40 mL/min
Purge time
0.5 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Gas saver
Off
Multimode inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
75 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
250 °C
Final time 1
5.0 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
40 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Packed column inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
82
Oven Track
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 9
4
FID Checkout Conditions (continued)
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
75 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.5 min
Purge flow
40 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
300 °C
H2 flow
30 mL/min
Air flow
400 mL/min
Makeup flow (N2)
25 mL/min
Lit offset
Typically 2 pA
Oven
Initial temp
75 °C
Initial time
0.5 min
Rate 1
20 °C/min
Final temp
190 °C
Final time
0 min
ALS settings (if installed)
Advanced User Guide
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
83
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 9
FID Checkout Conditions (continued)
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data system
Data rate
8
5 Hz
If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
If not using a data system, create a one sample sequence
using the GC keypad.
9
Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
84
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
10 The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed and
nitrogen makeup gas.
FID1 A, (C:\FID.D)
C15
pA
400
C16
350
300
250
200
150
100
C13
50
C14
0
0
1
Advanced User Guide
2
3
4
5
min
85
4
Chromatographic Checkout
To Check TCD Performance
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, HP- 5 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J- 413)
• FID/TCD performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(18710- 60170)
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector
• Chromatographic- grade hexane
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample
• Chromatographic- grade helium as carrier, makeup, and
reference gas
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium as carrier gas and reference gas.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL solvent vial with diffusion cap filled with hexane
and inserted in Solvent A injector position.
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Bake out the evaluation column for at least 30 min at
180 °C. (See the procedure for the SS, PP, COC, MMI,
or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Configure the column
5
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 10.
Table 10
TCD Checkout Conditions
Column and sample
86
Type
HP-5, 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J-413)
Sample
FID/TCD checkout 18710-60170
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 10
4
TCD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Column flow
6.5 mL/min
Column mode
Constant flow
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Mode
Splitless
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Purge time
0.75 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Multimode inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
40 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
40 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Packed column inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
Oven track
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
Advanced User Guide
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
40 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
87
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 10
TCD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.5 min
Purge flow
40 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
300 °C
Reference flow (He)
20 mL/min
Makeup flow (He)
2 mL/min
Baseline output
< 30 display counts on Agilent
ChemStation (< 750 µV)
Oven
Initial temp
40 °C
Initial time
0 min
Rate 1
20 °C/min
Final temp
90 °C
Final time
0 min
Rate 2
15 °C/min
Final temp
170 °C
Final time
0 min
ALS settings (if installed)
88
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 10
TCD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data system
Data rate
6
5 Hz
Display the signal output. A stable output at any value
between 12.5 and 750 µV (inclusive) is acceptable.
• If the baseline output is < 0.5 display units (< 12.5 µV),
verify that the detector filament is on. If the offset is
still < 0.5 display units (< 12.5 µV), your detector
requires service.
• If baseline output is > 30 display units (> 750 µV),
there may be chemical contamination contributing to
the signal. Bakeout the TCD. If repeated cleanings do
not give an acceptable signal, check gas purity. Use
higher purity gases and/or install traps.
7
If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
8
Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
9
Advanced User Guide
The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
89
4
Chromatographic Checkout
25 uV
70
C14
C15
C16
60
50
40
30
20
2
4
6
8
Time (min.)
90
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
To Check NPD Performance
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, HP- 5 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J- 413)
• NPD performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(18789- 60060)
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector.
• Chromatographic- grade isooctane
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample.
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Capillary column jet installed. If not, select and install
a capillary column jet.
• Capillary column adapter installed. If not, install it.
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium as carrier gas, nitrogen, hydrogen, and air.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL vial with diffusion cap filled with isooctane and
inserted in Solvent A injector position.
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
If present, remove any protective caps from the inlet
manifold vents.
5
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Bake out the evaluation column for at least 30 min at
180 °C. (See the procedure for the SS, PP, COC, MMI,
or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Be sure to configure the column
6
Advanced User Guide
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 11.
91
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 11
NPD Checkout Conditions
Column and sample
Type
HP-5, 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J-413)
Sample
NPD checkout 18789-60060
Column mode
Constant flow
Column flow
6.5 mL/min (helium)
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
200 °C
Mode
Splitless
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Purge time
0.75 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Multimode inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
60 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Packed column inlet
Temperature
200 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
Oven track
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
92
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
60 °C
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 11
4
NPD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.75 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
300 °C
H2 flow
3 mL/min
Air flow
60 mL/min
Makeup flow (N2)
Makeup + column = 10 mL/min
Output
30 display units (30 pA)
Oven
Initial temp
60 °C
Initial time
0 min
Rate 1
20 °C/min
Final temp
200 °C
Final time
3 min
ALS settings (if installed)
Advanced User Guide
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
93
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 11
NPD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data system
Data rate
5 Hz
7
If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
8
Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system, or creating a one sample
sequence and pressing [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
9
94
The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
NPD1 B, (C:\NPD.D)
4
Malathion
pA
70
60
Azobenzene
50
40
30
20
Octadecane
10
1
Advanced User Guide
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
m
95
4
Chromatographic Checkout
To Check uECD Performance
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, HP- 5 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J- 413)
• uECD performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(18713–60040, Japan: 5183- 0379)
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector.
• Chromatographic- grade isooctane
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample.
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Clean fused silica indented mixing liner installed. If
not, install it.
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium for carrier gas, nitrogen for makeup.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL vial with diffusion cap filled with hexane and
inserted in Solvent A injector position.
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Bake out the evaluation column for at least 30 minutes
at 180 °C. (See the procedure for the SS, PP, COC,
MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Be sure to configure the column.
5
Display the signal output to determine baseline output. A
stable baseline output at any value between 0.5 and
1000 Hz (ChemStation display units) (inclusive) is
acceptable.
• If the baseline output is < 0.5 Hz, verify that the
electrometer is on. If the offset is still < 0.5 Hz, your
detector requires service.
96
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
• If the baseline output is > 1000 Hz, there may be
chemical contamination contributing to the signal.
Bakeout the uECD. If repeated cleanings do not give an
acceptable signal, check gas purity. Use higher purity
gases and/or install traps.
6
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 12.
Table 12
uECD Checkout Conditions
Column and sample
Type
HP-5, 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J-413
Sample
µECD checkout (18713-60040 or Japan:
5183-0379)
Column mode
Constant flow
Column flow
6.5 mL/min (helium)
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
200 °C
Mode
Splitless
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Purge time
0.75 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Multimode inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
80 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
250 °C
Final time 1
5 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Packed column inlet
Advanced User Guide
Temperature
200 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
97
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 12
uECD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
Oven track
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
80 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.75 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
300 °C
Makeup flow (N2)
30 mL/min (constant + makeup)
Baseline output
Should be < 1000 display counts in
Agilent ChemStation (< 1000 Hz)
Oven
Initial temp
80 °C
Initial time
0 min
Rate 1
15 °C/min
Final temp
180 °C
Final time
10 min
ALS settings (if installed)
98
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 12
4
uECD Checkout Conditions (continued)
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data system
Data rate
5 Hz
7
If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
8
Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
9
Advanced User Guide
The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
99
4
Chromatographic Checkout
ECD1 B, (C:\ECD.D)
Hz
Lindane
(18713-60040
5183-0379)
12000
10000
8000
Aldrin
(18713-60040)
6000
4000
2000
0
2
100
4
6
8
10
12 min
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
To Check FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5953)
To check FPD performance, first check the phosphorus
performance, then the sulfur performance.
Preparation
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, HP- 5 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J- 413)
• FPD performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(5188- 5953), 2.5 mg/L (± 0.5%) methylparathion in
isooctane
• Phosphorus filter
• Sulfur filter and filter spacer
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector.
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample.
• Chromatographic- grade isooctane for syringe wash
solvent.
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Capillary column adapter installed. If not, install it.
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium as carrier gas, nitrogen, hydrogen, and air.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL vial with diffusion cap filled with isooctane and
inserted in Solvent A injector position.
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
Verify that the Lit Offset is set appropriately. Typically, it
should be about 2.0 pA for the checkout method.
5
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Set the oven, inlet, and detector to 250 °C and bake
out for at least 15 minutes.(See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Be sure to configure the column.
Advanced User Guide
101
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Phosphorus performance
6
If it is not already installed, install the phosphorus filter.
7
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 13.
Table 13
FPD Checkout Conditions (P)
Column and sample
Type
HP-5, 30 m × 0.32 mm × 0.25 µm
(19091J-413)
Sample
FPD checkout (5188-5953)
Column mode
Constant pressure
Column pressure
25 psi
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
200 °C Split/splitless
Mode
Splitless
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Purge time
0.75 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Multimode inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
75 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
250 °C
Final time 1
5.0 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Packed column inlet
Temperature
200 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
102
Oven track
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 13
4
FPD Checkout Conditions (continued)(P)
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
75 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.75 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
200 °C (On)
Hydrogen flow
75 mL/min (On)
Air (Oxidizer) flow
100 mL/min (On)
Mode
Constant makeup flow OFF
Makeup flow
60 mL/min (On)
Makeup gas type
Nitrogen
Flame
On
Lit offset
Typically 2 pA
High voltage
On
Oven
Advanced User Guide
Initial temp
70 °C
Initial time
0 min
Rate 1
25 °C/min
Final temp 1
150 °C
Final time 1
0 min
Rate 2
5 °C/min
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Chromatographic Checkout
Table 13
FPD Checkout Conditions (continued)(P)
Final temp 2
190 °C
Final time 2
4 min
ALS settings (if installed)
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data system
Data rate
5 Hz
8
Ignite the FPD flame, if not lit.
9
Display the signal output and monitor. This output
typically runs between 40 and 55 but can be as high as
70. Wait for the output to level off. This takes
approximately 1 hour.
If the baseline output is too high:
104
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
• Check column installation. If installed high, the
stationery phase burns out and increases measured
output.
• Check for leaks.
• Bake out the detector and column at 250 °C.
• Wrong flows set for installed filter.
If the baseline output is zero, verify the electrometer is on
and the flame is lit.
10 If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
11 Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
12 The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
Methylparathion
Isooctane
Advanced User Guide
105
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Sulfur performance
13 Install the sulfur filter and filter spacer.
14 Make the following method parameter changes.
Table 14
Sulfur method parameters (S)
Parameter
Value ( mL/min)
H2 flow
50
Air flow
60
15 Ignite the FPD flame if not lit.
16 Display the signal output and monitor. This output
typically runs between 50 and 60 but can be as high as
70. Wait for the output to level off. This takes
approximately 1 hour.
If the baseline output is too high:
• Check column installation. If installed high, the
stationery phase burns out and increases measured
output.
• Check for leaks.
• Bake out the detector and column at 250 °C.
• Wrong flows set for installed filter.
If the baseline output is zero, verify the electrometer is on
and the flame is lit.
17 If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
18 Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
19 The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
106
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
Methylparathion
Isooctane
Advanced User Guide
107
4
Chromatographic Checkout
To Verify FPD Performance (Sample 5188-5245, Japan)
To verify FPD performance, first check the phosphorus
performance, then the sulfur performance.
Preparation
1 Gather the following:
• Evaluation column, DB5 15 m × 0.32 mm × 1.0 µm
(123- 5513)
• FPD performance evaluation (checkout) sample
(5188- 5245, Japan), composition:
n- Dodecane 7499 mg/L (± 5%), Dodecanethiol 2.0 mg/L
(± 5%), Tributyl Phosphate 2.0 mg/L (± 5%),
tert- Butyldisulfide 1.0 mg/L (± 5%), in isooctane as
solvent
• Phosphorus filter
• Sulfur filter and filter spacer
• 4- mL solvent and waste bottles or equivalent for
autoinjector.
• 2- mL sample vials or equivalent for sample.
• Chromatographic- grade isooctane for syringe wash
solvent.
• Inlet and injector hardware (See “To Prepare for
Chromatographic Checkout.”)
2
Verify the following:
• Capillary column adapter installed. If not, install it.
• Chromatographic- grade gases plumbed and configured:
helium as carrier gas, nitrogen, hydrogen, and air.
• Empty waste vials loaded in sample turret.
• 4- mL vial with diffusion cap filled with isooctane and
inserted in Solvent A injector position.
108
3
Replace consumable parts (liner, septum, traps, syringe,
and so forth) as needed for the checkout. See “To Prepare
for Chromatographic Checkout.”
4
Verify the lit offset is set appropriately. Typically, it
should be about 2.0 pA for the checkout method.
5
Install the evaluation column. (See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
4
• Set the oven, inlet, and detector to 250 °C and bake
out for at least 15 minutes.(See the procedure for the
SS, PP, COC, MMI, or PTV in the Maintenance manual.)
• Be sure to configure the column.
Phosphorus performance
6
If it is not already installed, install the phosphorus filter.
7
Create or load a method with the parameter values listed
in Table 15.
Table 15
FPD Phosphorus Checkout Conditions
Column and sample
Type
DB-5MS, 15 m × 0.32 mm × 1.0 µm
(123-5513)
Sample
FPD checkout (5188-5245)
Column mode
Constant flow
Column flow
7.5 mL/min
Split/splitless inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Mode
Splitless
Total purge flow
69.5 mL/min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Purge time
0.75 min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Multimode inlet
Advanced User Guide
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
80 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
250 °C
Final time 1
5.0 min
Purge time
1.0 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
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4
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 15
FPD Phosphorus Checkout Conditions (continued)
Packed column inlet
Temperature
250 °C
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Cool on-column inlet
Temperature
Oven track
Septum purge
15 mL/min
PTV inlet
Mode
Splitless
Inlet temperature
80 °C
Initial time
0.1 min
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Final temp 1
350 °C
Final time 1
2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Final time 2
0 min
Purge time
0.75 min
Purge flow
60 mL/min
Septum purge
3 mL/min
Detector
Temperature
200 °C (On)
Hydrogen flow
75.0 mL/min (On)
Air (oxidizer) flow
100.0 mL/min (On)
Mode
Constant makeup flow Off
Makeup flow
60.0 mL/min (On)
Makeup gas type
Nitrogen
Flame
On
Lit offset
Typically 2 pA
High voltage
On
Oven
Initial temp
110
70 °C
Advanced User Guide
Chromatographic Checkout
Table 15
4
FPD Phosphorus Checkout Conditions (continued)
Initial time
0 min
Rate 1
10 °C/min
Final temp
105 °C
Final time
0 min
Rate 2
20 °C/min
Final temp 2
190 °C
Final time 2
7.25 min for sulfur
12.25 min for phosphorus
ALS settings (if installed)
Sample washes
2
Sample pumps
6
Sample wash volume
8
Injection volume
1 µL
Syringe size
10 µL
Solvent A pre washes
2
Solvent A post washes
2
Solvent A wash volume
8
Solvent B pre washes
0
Solvent B post washes
0
Solvent B wash volume
0
Injection mode (7693A)
Normal
Airgap Volume (7693A)
0.20
Viscosity delay
0
Inject Dispense Speed (7693A)
6000
Plunger speed (7683)
Fast, for all inlets except COC.
PreInjection dwell
0
PostInjection dwell
0
Manual injection
Injection volume
1 µL
Data System
Data rate
Advanced User Guide
5 Hz
111
4
Chromatographic Checkout
8
Ignite the FPD flame, if not lit.
9
Display the signal output and monitor. This output
typically runs between 40 and 55 but can be as high as
70. Wait for the output to level off. This takes
approximately 1 hour.
If the baseline output is too high:
• Check column installation. If installed high, the
stationery phase burns out and increases measured
output.
• Check for leaks.
• Bake out the detector and column at 250 °C.
• Wrong flows set for installed filter
If the baseline output is zero, verify the electrometer is on
and the flame is lit.
10 If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure that the data system will output a chromatogram.
11 Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
12 The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
112
Advanced User Guide
4
Chromatographic Checkout
Tributylphosphate
Isooctane
t-Butyldisulfide
Sulfur performance
13 Install the sulfur filter.
14 Make the following method parameter changes.
Table 16
Sulfur method parameters
Parameter
Value ( mL/min)
H2 flow
50
Air flow
60
15 Ignite the FPD flame, if not lit.
16 Display the signal output and monitor. This output
typically runs between 50 and 60 but can be as high as
70. Wait for the output to level off. This takes
approximately 2 hours.
If the baseline output is too high:
• Check column installation. If installed high, the
stationery phase burns out and increases measured
output.
• Check for leaks.
• Bake out the detector and column at 250 °C.
• Wrong flows set for installed filter
Advanced User Guide
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4
Chromatographic Checkout
If the baseline output is zero, verify the electrometer is on
and the flame is lit.
17 If using a data system, prepare the data system to
perform one run using the loaded checkout method. Make
sure the data system will output a chromatogram.
18 Start the run.
If performing an injection using an autosampler, start the
run using the data system or press [Start] on the GC.
If performing a manual injection (with or without a data
system):
a Press [Prep Run] to prepare the inlet for splitless
injection.
b When the GC becomes ready, inject 1 µL of the
checkout sample and press [Start] on the GC.
19 The following chromatogram shows typical results for a
new detector with new consumable parts installed.
t-Butyldisulfide
1-Dodecanethiol
Isooctane
114
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
5
Methods and Sequences
Creating Methods 116
To program a method 117
To program the ALS 117
To program the ALS sampler tray 117
To program the 7683B ALS bar code reader 118
To save a method 119
To load a stored method 119
Method mismatch 120
Creating Sequences 121
About the priority sequence 121
To program a sequence 122
To program a priority sequence 122
To program an ALS subsequence 123
To program a valve subsequence 123
To program post sequence events 123
To save a sequence 124
To load a stored sequence 124
To determine sequence status 124
To start a sequence 124
To pause and resume a sequence 125
To stop a sequence 125
To abort a sequence 125
Agilent Technologies
115
5
Methods and Sequences
Creating Methods
A method is the group of setpoints needed to run a single
sample on the GC, such as oven temperature programs,
pressure programs, inlet temperatures, sampler parameters,
etc. A method is created by saving a group of setpoints as a
numbered method using the [Store] key. At least 10 methods
can be stored.
Components for which setpoint parameters can be stored are
shown in Table 17.
Table 17
Setpoint parameter components
Component
Component
Oven
Aux temp
Valve 1–8
Aux EPC
Front and back inlet
Aux column
Columns 1 to 6
Aux detector 1 and 2
Front and back detector
Post run
Analog 1 and 2
Run table
Front and back injector (see Table 18)
Sample tray
Table 18 lists the setpoint parameters for the 7683B ALS.
Table 18
116
7683B ALS setpoint parameters
Parameter
Parameter
Injection volume
Sample Draw Speed
Viscosity delay
Sample Disp Speed
Inject Dispense Speed
Solvent Draw Speed
Sample pumps
Solvent Disp Speed
Sample washes
Slow plunger
Solvent A post washes
Pre dwell time
Solvent A pre washes
Post dwell time
Solvent B post washes
Sample offset
Solvent B pre washes
Injection Reps
Solvent B wash volume
Injection Delay
Advanced User Guide
5
Methods and Sequences
The GC also saves ALS setpoints. See the 7693A Installation,
Operation, and Maintenance manual for details on its
setpoints.
Setpoint parameters are saved when the GC is turned off
and loaded when you turn the instrument back on. However,
if the hardware was changed while the instrument was
turned off, it may not be possible to restore all setpoints in
the method.
To program a method
1 Individually select each component for which setpoint
parameters are appropriate for your method. (See
Table 17.)
2
Examine the current setpoints and modify as desired.
Repeat for each component as appropriate.
3
Examine the current setpoints for the ALS, if
appropriate, and modify as desired. (See “To program the
ALS” on page 117.)
4
Save the setpoints as a stored method. (See “To save a
method” on page 119.)
To program the ALS
1 Press [Front Injector] or [Back Injector].
2
Scroll to the desired setpoint. (See Table 18.)
3
Enter a setpoint value.
4
Examine the current setpoints for the sampler tray, if
appropriate, and modify as desired. (See “To program the
ALS sampler tray” on page 117.)
5
Examine the current setpoints for the bar code reader, if
appropriate, and modify as desired. (See “To program the
7683B ALS bar code reader” on page 118.)
6
Save the setpoints as a stored method. (See “To save a
method” on page 119.)
To program the ALS sampler tray
For the 7693A sampler tray, see the 7693A Installation,
Operation, and Maintenance manual.
Advanced User Guide
117
5
Methods and Sequences
For the 7683B sampler tray:
1 Press [Sample tray].
2
Press [On/Yes] to enable the barcode reader (if present)
or [Off/No] to disable it.
Configuration issues
1 To edit the sample tray configuration setpoints, press
[Config][Sample Tray].
Normally, no tray configuration is required. If using a
bar code reader and the tray gripper arm has difficulties
retrieving a vial from the bar code reader, adjust the
gripper offset (step 2). If the sample vial contacts the side
of the turret hole when the tray delivers or retrieves the
sample vial, then adjust the injector offset (step 3).
2
Scroll to Grip offset and press [Mode/Type]. Select from:
• Up to raise the gripper arm pickup height
• Default
• Down to lower the gripper arm pickup height
and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Front Injector Offset or Back Injector Offset and press
[Mode/Type]. Select from:
• Clockwise to have the gripper arm meet the turret at a
further clockwise position (relative to turret rotation)
• Default
• CounterClockwise to have the gripper arm meet the
turret at a further counterclockwise position (relative
to turret rotation)
and press [Enter].
To program the 7683B ALS bar code reader
For the 7693A sampler bar code reader, see the 7693A
Installation, Operation, and Maintenance manual.
1 Press [Sample tray].
2
118
Scroll to Enable bar code reader and press [On/Yes] to enable
or [Off/No] to disable the bar code reader.
Advanced User Guide
5
Methods and Sequences
Configuration issues
1 To edit the bar code configuration setpoints, press
[Config][Sample Tray].
2
Select Bar Code Reader.
3
Press [On/Yes] or [Off/No] to control the following bar
code setpoints:
• Enable 3 of 9—encodes both letters and numbers, plus a
few punctuation marks, and message length can be
varied to suit both the amount of data to be encoded
and the space available
• Enable 2 of 5—restricted to numbers but does allow
variable message length
• Enable UPC code—restricted to numbers- only with fixed
message length
• Enable checksum—verifies that the checksum in the
message matches the checksum calculated from the
message characters, but does not include the checksum
character in the returned message
4
Enter 3 as the BCR Position when the reader is installed in
the front of the tray. Positions 1–19 are available.
To save a method
1 Press [Method] and scroll to the desired method number.
2
Press [Store] and [On/Yes] to store the new method using
the chosen number. Alternatively, press [Off/No] to return
to the stored methods list without saving the method.
A message is displayed if a method with the number you
selected already exists.
• Press [On/Yes] to replace the existing method or
[Off/No] to return to the stored methods list without
saving the method.
To load a stored method
Press [Load][Method]. Supply the method number and press
[Enter]. The specified method will replace the current active
method.
Advanced User Guide
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5
Methods and Sequences
Method mismatch
This section applies only to a standalone (not connected to a
data system) GC. When a data system, such as a
ChemStation or EZChrom Elite, controls the GC, methods
are stored in the data system and can be edited there. See
your data system documentation for more information.
Suppose your standalone GC is equipped with a single FID.
You have created and saved methods that use this detector.
Now you remove the FID and install a TCD in its place.
When you try to load one of your stored methods, you
observe an error message saying that the method and the
hardware do not match.
The problem is that the actual hardware is no longer the
same as the hardware configuration saved in the method.
The method cannot run because it does not know how to
operate the recently- added TCD.
On inspecting the method, you find that the detector- related
parameters have all been reset to the default values.
Correcting a method mismatch on a standalone GC
This problem can be avoided if you follow this procedure for
any hardware change, even including the simple replacement
of a defective detector board.
1 Before changing any hardware, press [Config][hardware
module], where [hardware module] is the device you intend
to replace.
120
2
Press [Mode/Type]. Select Remove module and press [Enter].
The module is now Unconfigured.
3
Turn the GC off.
4
Make the hardware change that you intended (in this
example, remove the FID and its flow module and replace
them with the TCD and its module).
5
Turn the GC on. Press [Config][hardware module].
6
Press [Mode/Type]. Select Install module and press [Enter].
The GC will install the new hardware module, which
corrects the active method (but not the stored one!).
7
Save the corrected method using the same number (which
overwrites the stored method) or a new number (which
saves both versions of the method).
Advanced User Guide
5
Methods and Sequences
Creating Sequences
A sequence specifies the samples to be run and the stored
method to be used for each. The sequence is divided into a
priority sequence (ALS only), subsequences (each of which
uses a single method), and post- sequence events
• Priority sequence—allows you to interrupt a running ALS
or valve sequence to analyze urgent samples. (See “About
the priority sequence” on page 121.)
• Subsequences—contain the stored method number and
information that defines a set of samples and calibrators
to be analyzed using a particular method. Sampler and/or
valve subsequences can be used in the same sequence.
• Post sequence—names a method to be loaded and run
after the last run in the last subsequence. Specifies
whether the sequence is to be repeated indefinitely or
halted after the last subsequence.
Samples in each subsequence are specified as either ALS
tray locations or sampling valve positions (gas or liquid
sampling valves, often with a stream selection valve).
Five sequences with up to five subsequences each can be
stored.
About the priority sequence
The priority sequence consists of a single sampler or valve
subsequence and a special Use priority parameter, which can
be activated at any time, even when a sequence is running.
This feature allows you to interrupt a running sequence
without having to edit it.
If Use priority is On, then:
1 The GC and ALS complete the current run, then the
sequence pauses.
Advanced User Guide
2
The GC runs the priority sequence.
3
The GC resets the Use priority parameter to Off.
4
The main sequence resumes where it paused.
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5
Methods and Sequences
To program a sequence
1 Press [Seq]. (Press again, if necessary, to display
subsequence information.)
2
Create a priority sequence, if desired. (See “To program a
priority sequence” on page 122.) If you might want to use
a priority sequence, you must program it now. (Once the
sequence starts, you cannot edit it without stopping it.)
3
Scroll to the Method # line of Subseq 1 and enter a method
number. Use 0 for the currently active method, 1 to 9 for
the stored methods, or [Off/No] to end the sequence.
4
Press [Mode/Type] to select a valve or injector type. (See
“To program a valve subsequence” on page 123 or “To
program an ALS subsequence” on page 123.)
5
Create the next subsequence or scroll to Post Sequence.
(See “To program post sequence events” on page 123.)
6
Save the completed sequence. (See “To save a sequence”
on page 124.)
To program a priority sequence
1 Press [Seq]. (Press again, if necessary, to display
subsequence information.)
2
Scroll to Priority Method # and enter a method number. Use
0 for the currently active method, 1 to 9 for the stored
methods, or [Off/No] to end the sequence. Press [Enter].
The active method, 0, will change during the sequence if
the subsequences use stored methods. Therefore,
method 0 should be chosen for the priority sequence only
if all subsequences use method 0.
3
Press [Mode/Type] and select the injector type.
4
Program the ALS subsequence. (See “To program an ALS
subsequence” on page 123.)
5
Store the completed sequence. (See “To save a sequence”
on page 124.)
Once a priority subsequence exists in a sequence, you can
activate it when the urgent samples are ready to be
processed by:
1 Press [Seq]. (Press again, if necessary, to display
subsequence information.)
2
122
Scroll to Use Priority and press [On/Yes].
Advanced User Guide
5
Methods and Sequences
When the priority samples are completed, the normal
sequence resumes.
To program an ALS subsequence
1 See step 1 through step 3 of “To program a sequence” on
page 122.
2
Press [Mode/Type] and select the injector type.
3
Enter injector sequence parameters (if using both
injectors, there will be two sets of parameters):
• Number of Injections/vial—the number of repeat runs from
each vial. Enter 0 if no samples are to be injected.
• Samples—the range (first–last) of sample vials to be
analyzed.
4
Proceed with step 5 of “To program a sequence” on
page 122.
To program a valve subsequence
1 See step 1 through step 3 of “To program a sequence” on
page 122.
2
Press [Mode/Type] and select Valve.
3
Enter the valve sequence parameters (the first three
appear only if a multiposition valve is configured):
• #inj/position—number of injections at each position
(0–99)
• Position rng—first–last valve positions to sample (1–32)
• Times thru range—number of times to repeat the range
(1–99)
• # injections—number of injections for each sample
4
Proceed with step 5 of “To program a sequence” on
page 122.
To program post sequence events
1 See step 1 through step 4 of “To program a sequence” on
page 122.
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to the Method # line of Post Sequence and enter a
method number. Use 1 to 9 for the stored methods, or 0 if
there is no method to be loaded.
3
Press [On/Yes] at Repeat sequence to keep repeating the
sequence (useful for valve sequences). Otherwise, press
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5
Methods and Sequences
[Off/No] to halt the sequence when all subsequences are
finished.
To save a sequence
1 Press [Store][Seq].
2
Enter an identifying number for the sequence.
3
Press [On/Yes] to store the sequence. Alternatively, press
[Off/No] to cancel.
A message is displayed if a sequence with the number
you selected already exists.
• Press [On/Yes] to replace the existing sequence or
[Off/No] to cancel.
Sequences can also be stored from within the stored
sequence list ([Seq]) by scrolling to the appropriate sequence
number and pressing the [Store] key.
To load a stored sequence
Press [Load][Seq]. Supply the sequence number and press
[Enter]. The specified sequence will replace the current active
sequence.
To determine sequence status
Press [Seq Control] to display the current status of the active
sequence. There are six possible sequence status modes:
• Start/running
• Ready wait
• Paused/resume
• Stopped
• Aborted
• No sequence
To start a sequence
Press [Seq Control], scroll to Start sequence and press [Enter].
The sequence status will change to Running. The sequence
continues to run until all subsequences are executed, or
until one of the events described under “To abort a
sequence” on page 125 occurs.
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5
Methods and Sequences
Ready wait
If a sequence is started but the instrument is not ready (due
to oven temperature, equilibration times, etc.), the sequence
will not start until all instrument setpoints are ready
To pause and resume a sequence
Press [Seq Control], scroll to Pause sequence, and press [Enter].
The sequence status changes to paused, and you are given
the option to resume or stop the paused sequence.
The sequence halts when the current sample run is
complete.
To continue the paused sequence, scroll to Resume sequence
and press [Enter]. When a sequence is resumed, it starts with
the next sample.
To stop a sequence
A sequence automatically stops at the end of the last active
subsequence unless Repeat sequence is On in the Post
Sequence events.
To stop a running sequence, scroll to Stop sequence and press
[Enter]. A stopped sequence can only be restarted from the
beginning.
To abort a sequence
When a sequence is aborted, it stops immediately without
waiting for the current run to finish. These actions will
cause a sequence to abort:
• A run is stopped by pressing [Stop].
• A sampler error occurs producing an error message.
• The GC detects a configuration mismatch during a method
load.
• A running sequence tries to load an empty method.
• The sampler is turned off. You can correct the problem
and then resume the sequence. The aborted sample run
will be repeated.
Advanced User Guide
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5
126
Methods and Sequences
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
6
Checking for Leaks
Preparing the GC for Maintenance 128
To Check for External Leaks 130
To Check for GC Leaks 131
Leaks in Capillary Flow Technology (CFT) Fittings 132
To Perform a SS Inlet Pressure Decay Test 133
To Correct Leaks in the Split Splitless Inlet 137
To Perform a Multimode Inlet Pressure Decay Test 138
To Correct Leaks in the Multimode Inlet 142
To Perform a PP Inlet Pressure Decay Test 143
To Correct Leaks in the Packed Column Inlet 147
To Perform a COC Pressure Decay Test 148
To Correct Leaks in the Cool On-Column Inlet 151
To Perform a PTV Pressure Decay Test 152
To Correct Leaks in the PTV Inlet 156
To Perform a VI Pressure Decay Test 157
To Prepare the VI for a Closed System Leak Check 161
To Correct Leaks in the Volatiles Interface 162
Agilent Technologies
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6
Checking for Leaks
Preparing the GC for Maintenance
Before most maintenance procedures, the GC must be made
ready. The purpose of this preparation is to avoid damage to
both the instrument (electronics, columns, etc.) and the user
(shocks, burns).
Column and oven preparation
The main hazards here are temperature (burns) and column
exposure to air.
• Cool the oven by changing its setpoint to 35 °C. This
allows the oven fan to assist cooling.
• Leave the carrier gas flow On until the oven has cooled.
This protects the column from oxygen damage.
Inlet preparation
We are concerned with the possibility of burns and air
intrusion into the column.
• After the oven and columns have cooled, reduce all inlet
flows to 0.0 and turn the temperatures Off.
• For inlet- only maintenance, leave all detectors at their
normal setpoints except for the TCD filament, which
should be turned Off.
• If the column is to be removed, cap both ends to keep air
out.
Detector preparation
This is another burn hazard area, plus the possibility of
damage to the very sensitive electronics.
Some detectors (uECD, FPD, NPD) require 12 hours or
longer to stabilize from the detector- off condition.
• To cool the detector, reduce the temperature setpoint to
35 °C.
• Some detectors (FID, NPD, FPD) use high voltages. The
high voltage supply is part of the electrometer. Turn it Off
to disable the high voltage.
• The filament in the TCD will be damaged if exposed to
air while hot. To protect the filament, turn it Off.
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6
Checking for Leaks
Leak Check Tips
When checking for leaks, consider the system in two parts:
external leak points and GC leak points.
• External leak points include the gas cylinder (or gas
purifier), regulator and its fittings, supply shutoff valves,
and connections to the GC supply fittings.
• GC leak points include inlets, detectors, column
connections, valve connections, and connections between
flow modules and inlets/detectors.
WA R N I N G
Hydrogen (H2) is flammable and is an explosion hazard when
mixed with air in an enclosed space (for example, a flow meter).
Purge flowmeters with inert gas as needed. Always measure
gases individually. Always turn off detectors to prevent
flame/bead autoignition.
WA R N I N G
Hazardous sample gases may be present.
1 Gather the following:
• Electronic leak detector capable of detecting the gas
type
• 7/16, 9/16, and 1/4- inch wrenches for tightening
Swagelok and column fittings
2
Check any potential leak points associated with any
maintenance recently performed.
3
Check GC fittings and connections that undergo thermal
cycling, since thermal cycling tends to loosen some fitting
types. Use the electronic leak detector to determine if a
fitting is leaking.
• Start by checking any newly made connections.
• Remember to check connections in the gas supply lines
after changing traps or supply cylinders.
Advanced User Guide
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Check for External Leaks
Check for leaks at these connections:
• Gas supply bulkhead fittings
• Gas cylinder fitting
• Regulator fittings
• Traps
• Shut- off valves
• T- fittings
Perform a pressure drop test.
1 Turn off the GC.
130
2
Set the regulator pressure to 415 kPa (60 psi).
3
Fully turn the regulator knob counterclockwise to shut
the valve.
4
Wait 5 minutes. If there is a measurable drop in pressure,
there is a leak in the external connections. No drop in
pressure indicates that the external connections are not
leaking.
Advanced User Guide
6
Checking for Leaks
To Check for GC Leaks
Check for leaks at these connections:
• Inlet septum, septum head, liner, split vent trap, split vent
trap line, and purge vent fittings
• Column connections to inlets, detectors, valves, splitters,
and unions
• Fittings from the flow modules to the inlets, detectors,
and valves
• Column adapters
• Agilent capillary flow fittings
Advanced User Guide
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6
Checking for Leaks
Leaks in Capillary Flow Technology (CFT) Fittings
For CFT capillary column fittings, a leak usually indicates
that the fitting has been overtightened. Unless the fitting is
obviously loose, do not tighten it further. Instead, remove the
connection, trim the column end, and install it again.
Also inspect the plate and connection for a broken column
tip.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a SS Inlet Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the septum nut, column
adapter, column connection, and so forth.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
septum
column fitting
septum nut
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
liner O-ring seal
tubing and connections in a transfer
line connected to the inlet
gold seal/washer and reducing nut
internal leaks in an EPC module
(septum purge valve)
inlet body
flow manifold split vent valve
flow manifold septum purge valve
split vent tubing and trap
septum purge tubing
seals within the tubing between the
inlet flow module and the inlet body
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
split/splitless inlet):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• Column nut
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6
Checking for Leaks
• New septum
• O- ring
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
2
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
3
Remove the column, if installed.
4
Plug the column fitting with a column nut and a no- hole
ferrule.
5
Remove the old septum and replace it with a new one.
See To change the septum on the split/splitless inlet.
6
Inspect the O- ring and replace it if it is hard and brittle
or cracked. See To change the liner and O- ring on the
split/splitless inlet.
7
Set the inlet to Split Mode.
8
Configure the column as Inlet: Unspecified.
9
Set the inlet temperature to 70 °C.
10 Set the Total flow to 60 mL/min.
11 Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
12 If pressure cannot be achieved, there is either a large
leak or the supply pressure is too low.
13 Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
14 Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
15 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
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Checking for Leaks
6
Back inlet purge
vent
Back inlet split
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
Front purge vent shown plugged
16 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
17 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
18 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
19 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
20 Monitor the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
For GCs with no device installed in the carrier flow
path:
Advanced User Guide
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6
Checking for Leaks
A pressure drop of less than 0.5 psig (0.05 psi/min or
less; 3.4 kPa or 0.34 kPa/min) is acceptable.
If the pressure drops much faster than the acceptable
rate, see “To Correct Leaks in the Split Splitless Inlet”.
Retest.
For a GC with a 7697A Headspace Sampler:
A pressure drop of less than 1.7 psig (0.17 psi/min or
less; 11.7 kPa or 1.17 kPa/min) is acceptable. If the 7697A
passes all its leak tests (restriction, pressure decay, and
cross port), and if the GC inlet pressure decay test passes
without the 7697A installed, check the 7697A carrier flow
path. See the Headspace Sampler documentation.
For a GC with a G1888 Headspace Sampler:
A pressure drop of less than 2 psig in 5 minutes
(0.4 psi/min or less; 13.8 kPa or 2.76 kPa/min) is
acceptable when using a 1 cc sample loop.
For all GCs:
Note that liner size impacts pressure drop. An inlet with
a smaller volume liner does not tolerate as large a leak
rate as an inlet with a larger volume liner.
21 After the inlet passes the test, restore the GC to
operating condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the Split Splitless Inlet
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• Check the caps/plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• Check the tightness of the septum nut. See To change the
septum on the split/Splitless inlet.
• Check the septum. Replace if old or damaged.
• Check the insert assembly installation.
• Check the liner and liner O- ring. See To change the liner
and O- ring on the split/splitless inlet.
• If you changed the gold seal, verify correct installation.
See To replace the gold seal on the split/splitless inlet.
• Make sure the inlet temperature remained constant during
the test.
If these items do not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
Advanced User Guide
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a Multimode Inlet Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the septum nut, column
adapter, column connection, and so forth.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
septum
column fitting
septum nut
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
liner O-ring seal
tubing and connections in a transfer
line connected to the inlet
inlet body
flow manifold split vent valve
flow manifold septum purge valve
split vent tubing and trap
septum purge tubing
seals within the tubing between the
inlet flow module and the inlet body
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
Multimode inlet):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• Column nut
• New septum
• O- ring
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6
Checking for Leaks
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
2
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
3
Remove the column, if installed.
4
Plug the column fitting with a column nut and a no- hole
ferrule.
5
Remove the old septum and replace it with a new one.
See To change the septum on the multimode inlet.
6
Inspect the O- ring and replace it if it is hard and brittle
or cracked. See To change the liner and O- ring on the
Multimode inlet.
7
Set the inlet to Split Mode.
8
Configure the column as Inlet: Unspecified.
9
Set the inlet temperature to 70 °C.
10 Set the Total flow to 60 mL/min.
11 Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
12 If pressure cannot be achieved, there is either a large
leak or the supply pressure is too low.
13 Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
14 Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
15 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
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6
Checking for Leaks
Back inlet purge
vent
Back inlet split
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
Front purge vent shown plugged
16 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
17 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
18 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
19 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
20 Monitor the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
A pressure drop of less than 0.5 psig (0.05 psi/min or
less; 3.4 kPa or 0.34 kPa/min) is acceptable.
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Checking for Leaks
6
If the pressure drops much faster than the acceptable
rate, see “To Correct Leaks in the Multimode Inlet”.
Retest.
Note that liner size impacts pressure drop. An inlet with
a smaller volume liner does not tolerate as large a leak
rate as an inlet with a larger volume liner.
21 After the inlet passes the test, restore the GC to
operating condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the Multimode Inlet
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• Check the caps/plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• Check the tightness of the septum nut. See To change the
septum on the Multimode inlet.
• Check the septum. Replace if old or damaged.
• Check the insert assembly installation.
• Check the liner and liner O- ring. See To change the liner
and O- ring on the Multimode inlet.
• Make sure the inlet temperature remained constant during
the test.
If these items do not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a PP Inlet Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the septum nut, column
adapter, column connection, and so forth.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
septum
column fitting
septum nut
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
glass insert O-ring seal
adapter and ferrule
inlet body
top insert weldment
seals within the tubing between the
inlet flow module and the inlet body
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
purged packed inlet):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• 7/16- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• 9/16- inch wrench
• 1/8- and 1/4- inch Swagelok caps
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
2
Advanced User Guide
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
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6
Checking for Leaks
3
Set the total flow to 40 mL/min and purge the inlet for
about 1 minute.
4
Remove the column, if installed.
5
Plug the column fitting.
• If the capillary column adapter is installed, use a
column nut and a no- hole ferrule
• If a 1/8- inch packed column adapter is installed, use a
1/8- inch Swagelok cap (5180- 4121).
• If a 1/4- inch packed column adapter is installed, use a
1/4- inch Swagelok cap (5180- 4120)
6
Remove the old septum and replace it with a new one.
See To change the septum on the purged packed inlet.
7
Inspect the O- ring and replace it if it is hard and brittle
or cracked. See To change the O- ring on the purged
packed inlet.
8
If unsure of the quality of the adapter ferrule, replace it.
See To change the glass insert on a PP inlet.
9
Configure, but do not install, a capillary column to put
the inlet in pressure control mode.
10 Set the inlet temperature to 100 °C.
11 Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
12 If pressure cannot be achieved, there is either a large
leak or the supply pressure is too low.
13 Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
14 Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
15 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
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Checking for Leaks
6
Back inlet purge
vent
Back inlet split
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
Front purge vent shown plugged
16 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
17 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
18 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
19 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
20 Monitor the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
A pressure drop of less than 0.7 psig (0.07 psi/min or
less; 4.8 kPa or 0.48 kPa/min) is acceptable.
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6
Checking for Leaks
If the pressure drops much faster than the acceptable
rate, see “To Correct Leaks in the Packed Column Inlet”.
Retest.
21 After the inlet passes the test, restore the GC to
operating condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the Packed Column Inlet
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• Check the caps/plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• Check the tightness of the septum nut. See To change the
septum on the purged packed inlet.
• Check the septum. Replace if old or damaged.
• Check that the top insert weldment is installed tightly.
• Replace the O- ring. See To change the O- ring on the
purged packed inlet. Also check the glass insert. See To
change the glass insert on a PP inlet.
• Replace the ferrule seal on the adapter.
• Make sure the inlet temperature remained constant during
the test.
If these items do not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a COC Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the septum nut, column
adapter, column connection, and so forth. See “To Check for
External Leaks”.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
septum
column fitting
septum nut or cooling tower
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
seals within the tubing between the
inlet flow module and the inlet body
inlet body
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
COC inlet):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• Column nut
• New septum
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
148
2
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
3
Remove the column, if installed.
4
Plug the column fitting with a column nut and no- hole
ferrule.
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6
Checking for Leaks
5
Remove the old septum and replace it with a new one.
See To change a septum on the COC inlet.
6
Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
7
Wait 5 minutes for the pressure to equilibrate. If pressure
cannot be achieved, there is either a large leak or the
supply pressure is too low.
8
Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
9
Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
10 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
Back inlet split
vent
Back inlet purge
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
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6
Checking for Leaks
Front purge vent shown plugged
11 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
12 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
13 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
14 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
15 Monitor the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
A pressure drop of less than 1.0 psig (0.1 psi/min or less;
6.9 kPa or 0.69 kPa/min) is acceptable.
If the pressure drops much faster than the acceptable
rate, see “To Correct Leaks in the Cool On- Column Inlet”.
Retest.
16 After the inlet passes the test, restore the GC to
operating condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the Cool On-Column Inlet
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• Check the caps/plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• Check the tightness of the septum nut or cooling tower
assembly. See To change a septum nut or cooling tower
and septum on a COC inlet.
• Check the septum. Replace if old or damaged.
• Make sure the inlet temperature remained constant during
the test.
If these items do not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a PTV Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the septum nut, column
adapter, column connection, and so forth.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
septum
column fitting
septum nut
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
liner O-ring seal
tubing and connections in a transfer
line connected to the inlet
gold seal/washer and reducing nut
inlet body
flow manifold split vent valve
flow manifold septum purge valve
split vent tubing and trap
septum purge tubing
seals within the tubing between the
inlet flow module and the inlet body
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
PTV inlet):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• Column nut
• New septum
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Checking for Leaks
• New Graphpak 3D ferrule and liner
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
2
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
3
Remove the column, if installed.
4
Plug the column fitting with a column nut and a no- hole
ferrule.
5
If using the septum head, and the quality of the septum
(or Microseal) and GRAPHPACK- 3D ferrule on the glass
liner are unknown, replace them now. See To change the
septum on the PTV inlet and To change the liner on the
PTV inlet.
6
Set the inlet to Split Mode.
7
Configure the column as 0 length.
8
Set the inlet temperature to 100 °C.
9
Set the Total flow to 60 mL/min.
10 Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
11 If pressure cannot be achieved, there is either a large
leak or the supply pressure is too low.
12 Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
13 Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
14 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
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6
Checking for Leaks
Back inlet split
vent
Back inlet purge
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
Front purge vent shown plugged
15 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
16 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
17 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
18 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
19 Monitor the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
A pressure drop of less than 0.5 psig (0.05 psi/min or
less; 3.4 kPa or 0.34 kPa/min) is acceptable.
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Checking for Leaks
6
If the pressure drops much faster than the acceptable
rate, see “To Correct Leaks in the PTV Inlet”. Retest.
Note that liner size impacts pressure drop. An inlet with
a smaller volume liner does not tolerate as large a leak
rate as an inlet with a larger volume liner.
20 After the inlet passes the test, restore the GC to
operating condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the PTV Inlet
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• Check the caps/plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• If using a septum head, check the tightness of the septum
nut. See To change the septum on the PTV inlet.
• If using a septum head, check the septum. Replace if old
or damaged.
• Check that the septumless- or septum- head assembly is
installed tightly.
• Replace the liner and Graphpak 3D ferrule. See To change
the liner on the PTV inlet.
• Check the Graphpak adapter seal against the inlet body.
Replace the silver seal and reinstall the adapter if needed.
See To replace the inlet adapter for the PTV inlet.
• If using the septumless head, check for leaks around the
guide cap. Replace the PTFE ferrule in the guide cap. See
To replace the PTFE ferrule on a PTV inlet.
• Check for leaks at the split vent trap. Tighten as
necessary. Replace the split vent trap filter and O- rings.
See To replace the filter in the PTV inlet split vent line.
• Make sure the inlet temperature remained constant during
the test.
If these items not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Perform a VI Pressure Decay Test
The pressure decay test checks for leaks from the inlet flow
module up to the column fitting.
Initially test the VI with a sampling system installed. If the
system fails the leak test, then isolate the VI from the
sampler as described in “To Prepare the VI for a Closed
System Leak Check” on page 161.
After performing maintenance, first check for leaks in
externally accessible areas. See “To Check for External
Leaks”.
If a leak is known to exist, check the externally accessible
inlet fittings first, especially any connection that has seen
recent maintenance, such as the column connection, split
vent line, and so forth.
The pressure decay leak test described below requires
removing the column and capping the inlet column fitting.
This test can/cannot find the following types of leaks:
The test can find leaks at the:
The test cannot find leaks at the:
sampler connection
column fitting
pressure sensing line connection to
the interface
gas supply bulkhead fittings to the
flow module
split vent line connection to the
interface
tubing and connections in a transfer
line connected to the inlet
the connected sampler’s entire sample
flow path
flow manifold split vent valve
flow manifold septum purge valve
split vent tubing and trap
1 Gather the following (see Consumables and parts for the
VI):
• No- hole ferrule
• 1/4- inch wrench
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
• Long column nut
• ECD/TCD Detector plug (part no. 5060- 9055)
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6
Checking for Leaks
2
Load the inlet maintenance method and wait for the GC
to become ready.
3
Remove the column, if installed.
4
Plug the column fitting with a column nut and a no- hole
ferrule.
5
Set the inlet to Split Mode.
6
Configure the column as 0 length.
7
Set the inlet temperature to 100 °C.
8
Set the Total flow to 60 mL/min.
9
Enter a pressure setpoint of 25 psi (172 kPa). Make sure
that the pressure supplied to the GC is at least 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher than the inlet pressure.
10 If pressure cannot be achieved, there is either a large
leak or the supply pressure is too low.
11 Set the Septum purge flow to 3.0 mL/min.
12 Allow the inlet temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes can invalidate the test.
13 Cap the septum purge fitting with the ECD/TCD detector
plug.
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Checking for Leaks
Back inlet split
vent
6
Back inlet purge
vent
Front inlet split
vent
Front inlet
purge vent
Front purge vent shown plugged
14 From the keypad, press [Service Mode]. Select Diagnostics >
Front or Back Inlet > Pneumatics Control > Septum Purge control.
15 Scroll to the Constant duty cycle and enter 50. Wait 10
seconds.
16 Press [Front or Back Inlet]. Scroll to Pressure and press
Off/No.
17 Quickly turn off the carrier gas supply at its source.
18 Monitor the pressure for 10–15 minutes. Use the timer by
pressing [Time] and [Enter].
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6
Checking for Leaks
The pressure should drop approximately 1 psi (6.9 kPa)
during the first 1 to 2 minutes. After an initial pressure
drop of about 1 psi, the pressure should not drop more
than 0.03 psi/min (0.21 kPa/min).
If the pressure drop is 0.03 psi/min or less, you can
consider the interface- gas sampler system leak- free.
If the pressure drops faster than the acceptable rate, you
must check the interface and sampler systems separately
to determine the source of the leak. See “To Prepare the
VI for a Closed System Leak Check” to create a closed
flow system, then return to this section and complete
steps 10 to 16.
If you find a leak in the interface, refer to “To Correct
Leaks in the Volatiles Interface”.
If the interface is leak- free, pressure check the sampling
device. See the operating manual for your sampler for
instructions.
19 After the VI passes the test, restore the GC to operating
condition.
• Remove any caps/plugs.
• If needed, reconnect the sampling device.
• Reinstall the column.
• Restore the correct column configuration.
• Load the operating method.
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Checking for Leaks
To Prepare the VI for a Closed System Leak Check
To leak check the interface independently of the gas
sampling device, you must disconnect the sampler from the
interface to isolate the interface flow system from the
sampler.
WA R N I N G
Be careful! The oven and/or inlet may be hot enough to cause
burns. If either is hot, wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your
hands.
1 Gather the following:
• 1/16- inch nut for transfer line
• Ferrule for transfer line
• Heat- resistant gloves (if the inlet is hot)
Advanced User Guide
2
Disconnect the transfer line from the interface.
3
Disconnect the carrier line from the sampler.
4
Prepare the end of the carrier line using a 1/16- inch
male nut and ferrule.
5
Connect the carrier line to the interface where you
removed the transfer line and tighten the nut finger tight.
Tighten an additional 1/4 to 1/2 turn with the 1/4- inch
wrench.
6
Return to “To Perform a VI Pressure Decay Test” and
repeat steps 9 to 16.
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6
Checking for Leaks
To Correct Leaks in the Volatiles Interface
If the inlet fails a pressure decay test, check the following:
• The caps and plugs used in the test—make sure each is
correctly installed and tight.
• If you performed the leak test after performing
maintenance, check for proper installation of the part(s)
handled during the maintenance.
• The split vent and pressure sensing connections at the
interface.
• The sampler connection to the interface.
• The sampler.
If these items do not resolve the problem, contact Agilent for
service.
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Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
About Flow and Pressure Control 164
Maximum operating pressure 164
PIDs 165
Inlet Modules 166
Detector Modules 167
Pressure Control Modules 168
Auxiliary Pressure Controllers 171
Restrictors 172
1. Using an Aux EPC channel to supply purge gas to a splitter 174
2. Using the PCM channels 174
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
About Flow and Pressure Control
The GC uses four types of electronic flow or pressure
controllers; inlet modules, detector modules, pressure control
modules (PCMs), and auxiliary pressure controllers (Aux
EPCs).
All of these modules mount in the slots at the top rear of
the GC. The slots are identified by numbers, as shown here.
Slot 5
Slot 6
Slot 3
Slot 1
Slot 4
Slot 2
Split vent traps
and valves
Back of GC
When a module is installed in a slot, it must be connected to
the communications buss that runs underneath it. Each
branch of the buss has an identifying label near the
connector. The proper branch must be connected to the
module for the firmware to recognize it.
Branch/slot assignments are:
EPC5
EPC3
EPC1
EPC6
EPC4
EPC2
Split vent traps
and valves
Back of GC
If a detector is mounted in the left side carrier (as seen
from the front side of the oven), it is controlled by EPC6. An
extension cable connects to EPC6, runs across the top of the
oven just in front of the top row of slots, and passes through
an opening into the detector carrier.
Maximum operating pressure
The pneumatics modules of the GC will stand over 250 psi
pressure, but may not function reliably. We recommend a
maximum continuous operating pressure of 170 psi to avoid
excessive wear and leaks.
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Flow and Pressure Modules
PIDs
The behavior of a pressure control module is governed by a
set of three constants, called P (proportional), I (integral),
and D (differential).
Certain gases or special applications (such as QuickSwap,
headspace vial pressurization, or splitter and backflush
applications) require different PIDs than those provided at
the factory.
If you need to update or change the pneumatic PID values
for an application, use the utility program on the
documentation and utility DVD provided with the GC.
The table summarizes custom PID values required for
selected applications. Note that if you are updating an AUX
EPC module, you will need to change the frit for the channel
used. See also “Restrictors.”
Table 19
PIDs and frits
Application
Module
AUX frit
Select Available PID
Values
QuickSwap
AUX EPC
1 ring (or brown dot)
Quickswap
Purged splitter and Deans Switch
when using backflush
AUX EPC
No color or rings
Quickswap
Purged splitter and Deans Switch
AUX EPC
1 ring (or brown dot)
Standard
Headspace vial pressurization
AUX EPC
No color or rings
AUX_EPC_Headspace
Headspace sampling loop
PCM in backpressure
control
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PCM_Headspace
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
Inlet Modules
These modules are used with specific inlets. They provide a
controlled flow or pressure of carrier gas to the inlet and
control the septum flow rate.
Module locations depend on the type of module and the
length of the tubing connecting it to the inlet.
If you have a Front inlet, its flow module must go in Slot 1.
If you have a Back inlet, its flow module must go in Slot 2.
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7
Detector Modules
These are specific to the detector with which they are
supplied, and differ according to the needs of that detector.
For example, the FID module must supply controlled
amounts of air, hydrogen, and makeup gas. The TCD module
supplies the reference and makeup gases, but includes the
reference switching valve that is essential to detector
operation.
Module locations depend on the type of module and the
length of the tubing connecting it to the detector.
If you have a Front detector, its flow module must go in Slot 3.
If you have a Back detector, its flow module must go in Slot 4.
If you have a TCD detector mounted on the left side of the
GC, its flow module mounts in a special bracket near the
detector.
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
Pressure Control Modules
The PCM is a general purpose module with two independent
control channels, designated 1 and 2. The general name of a
PCM module is PCM #, where the # (actually, a letter)
identifies the PCM (there can be up to 3 installed).
The two channels are not identical. Channel 1 is a simple
forward- pressure regulated channel that maintains constant
flow through a fixed restrictor.
Channel 2 may be used either as a forward- pressure
regulator or as a back- pressure regulator, simply by
reversing the input and output connections. The back
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Flow and Pressure Modules
7
pressure mode can be very useful with a gas sampling valve,
where it ensures that the sample pressure in the loop
remains constant.
For channel 1, gas input is via a threaded fitting. Gas output
is via a coil of metal tubing with a Swagelok fitting on the
end.
For channel 2, the connections are the same as for channel
1 if channel 2 is to be used as a forward- pressure regulator.
They are reversed—extra fittings/adapters will be needed—if
it is to be used as a back- pressure regulator.
PCMs can be installed in several locations:
• In slot 1. The name is PCM A.
• In slot 2. The name is PCM B.
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
• In slot 5. If there are no PCMs in slots 1 and 2, the name
is PCM A. If another PCM is installed in either slot 1 or 2,
the PCM in slot 5 takes the name that is not being used
(A or B). If PCMs are installed in both slots 1 and 2, the
name is PCM C.
• In slot 6. The name is always PCM C.
PCM A or B
PCM C
Slot 3
PCM A
Slot 4
PCM B
Split vent trap
and valve
Back of GC
Both channels of a PCM are controlled by the same
parameter list. The first two lines refer to channel 1, the
remaining lines refer to channel 2.
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Flow and Pressure Modules
Auxiliary Pressure Controllers
The Auxiliary Pressure Controller (Aux epc) is also a general
purpose device. It has three independent forward- pressure
regulated channels. Channels are designated by numbers 1
through 9 (there can be up to 3 Aux epcs), depending on
where the module is installed.
If an auxiliary channel is specified as the Inlet during
column configuration, that channel allows run time
programming and three- ramp flow or pressure programming.
Gas input is via threaded fittings. Gas output is via coils of
metal tubing with Swagelok fittings on the ends.
As you look at the module from the back of the GC, the
channels are numbered from left to right according to this
scheme:
• In slot 6. The name is Aux epc #, where # is 1, 2, or 3 and
identifies the channel (connector labeled EPC6).
• In slot 5. The name is Aux epc #, where # is 4, 5, or 6 and
identifies the channel (connector labeled EPC5).
• In slot 4. The name is Aux epc #, where # is 7, 8, or 9 and
identifies the channel (connector labeled AUX DET1 or AUX
DET2).
• In the third detector side of the GC. The name is Aux epc
#, where # is 7, 8, or 9 and identifies the channel
(connector labeled AUX DET1 or AUX DET2).
Aux epc 4, 5, 6
Slot 3
Slot 1
Aux epc 1, 2, 3 Aux epc 7, 8, 9
Slot 2
Split vent trap
and valve
Back of GC
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7
Flow and Pressure Modules
Restrictors
Both PCMs and auxiliary channels are controlled by pressure
setpoints. To work properly, there must be adequate flow
resistance downstream of the pressure sensor. Each channel
provides a frit- type restrictor. Four frits are available.
Table 20
Auxiliary channel frits
Frit marking
Flow resistance
Flow characteristic
Often used with
Three rings
Blue
High
3.33 ± 0.3 SCCM @ 15 PSIG
NPD Hydrogen
Two rings
Red
Medium
30 ± 1.5 SCCM H2 @ 15 PSIG
FID Hydrogen
One ring
Brown
Low
400 ± 30 SCCM AIR @ 40 PSIG
FID Air, QuickSwap,
Splitter, Deans Switch
None (brass tube)
Zero
No restriction
Headspace vial
pressurization
The one ring frit (low resistance, high flow) is installed in
all channels in the AUX epc when the instrument (or
accessory) is shipped. No frit ships in the PCM Aux channel.
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Flow and Pressure Modules
When installing or replacing a frit, always use a new O- ring
(5180- 4181, 12/pk).
Selecting a frit
The frits change the control range of the channels. The
objective is to find a frit that allows the required range of
flows at reasonable source pressures.
• For an auxiliary channel ordered as an option (part of
the GC order), use the frit supplied by the factory.
• For an auxiliary channel ordered as an accessory
(separate from the GC order), see the instruction
information supplied with the accessory.
• For a non- Agilent instrument, you must experiment to
find the appropriate frit.
When you change a frit, you change the physical
characteristics of the channel. It may be desirable (or
necessary) to change the PID constants for that channel. See
“PIDs” on page 165.
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Flow and Pressure Modules
Examples
1. Using an Aux EPC channel to supply purge gas to a splitter
An Aux EPC channel operates only in the forward- pressure
mode; it provides a constant pressure at its outlet. It is used
to provide gas to some other device, such as a splitter with
a makeup gas input.
Split/splitless inlet
Aux EPC
µECD
0.507 m x 0.10 mm x 0 µm
FPD
MSD
0.532 m x 0.18 mm x 0 µm
1.444 m x 0.18 mm x 0 µm
30 m x 0.25 mm x 0.25 µm HP-MS5
In this configuration, the gas eluting from the column is
divided among three detectors. Because the resulting flows
can be quite small, makeup gas is added at the splitter. An
Aux EPC channel provides it.
Assume that we are using channel Aux epc 1 as the makeup
source. The gas is plumbed to the leftmost (as seen from the
back of the GC) fitting on the proper module. The outlet
tubing for this channel goes to the splitter inside the
oven—an extension tube may be needed to reach this far.
The medium frit is probably appropriate for this application.
Rather than have the makeup gas flowing all the time,
consider turning it on and off with run time commands.
2. Using the PCM channels
The two channels in a PCM are different. Channel 1 is used
to supply a pressure. Channel 2 may be used in the same
way, but can also be used to maintain a pressure by
reversing the input and output connections.
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Flow and Pressure Modules
Channel 1: Forward-pressure only
This is identical to the carrier gas channel for the packed
column inlet.
Channel 2: Two-way channel
If gas is supplied at the threaded connection and delivered
by the tubing, this operates the same as channel 1. But the
connections can be reversed—requiring some fittings—so that
it will maintain the gas supplied to it at a fixed pressure. In
this mode it behaves as a controlled leak.
This can be used to maintain the gas in a gas sampling valve
at a fixed pressure, even if the supply varies somewhat. The
result is improved reproducibility in sample amount.
The figure shows the connections with the valve in the Load
position.
To column
Carrier in
Back-pressure regulation
Valve
Sample in
Threaded
connection
Sample out
Advanced User Guide
PS
Vent
connection
175
7
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Flow and Pressure Modules
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Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Using Hydrogen 179
Inlet Overview 180
Carrier Gas Flow Rates 181
About Gas Saver 182
Pre Run and Prep Run 184
Auto Prep Run 185
About Heaters 186
About the Split/Splitless Inlet 188
Split/Splitless inlet split mode overview 189
Split/Splitless inlet splitless mode overview 190
The S/SL inlet pulsed split and splitless modes 191
Split/Splitless inlet split mode minimum operating pressures 192
Selecting the correct S/SL inlet liner 193
Vapor Volume Calculator 195
Selecting parameters for the S/SL splitless mode 196
About the Multimode Inlet 199
Septum tightening (MMI) 199
Heating the MMI 200
Cooling the MMI 200
MMI split mode minimum operating pressures 201
Selecting the correct MMI liner 202
Vapor Volume Calculator 204
MMI split and pulsed split modes 204
MMI splitless and pulsed splitless modes 208
MMI solvent vent mode 214
MMI Direct Mode 222
To develop a MMI method that uses large volume injection 223
Multiple injections with the MMI 226
About the Cool On-Column Inlet 236
Retention gaps 237
COC inlet temperature control 237
Setting COC inlet flows/pressures 238
About the PTV Inlet 240
PTV sampling heads 240
Heating the PTV inlet 241
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Inlets
Cooling the PTV inlet 242
PTV inlet split and pulsed split modes 242
PTV inlet splitless and pulsed splitless modes 246
PTV inlet solvent vent mode 253
To develop a PTV method that uses large volume injection 261
Multiple injections with the PTV inlet 264
About the Volatiles Interface 270
About the VI split mode 272
About the VI splitless mode 276
About the VI direct mode 281
Preparing the Interface for Direct Sample Introduction 284
Setting parameters for the VI direct mode 287
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Inlets
8
Using Hydrogen
WA R N I N G
When using hydrogen (H2), as the carrier gas, be aware that
hydrogen (H2) gas can flow into the oven and create an explosion
hazard. Therefore, be sure that the supply is off until all
connections are made, and ensure that the inlet and detector
column fittings are either connected to a column or capped at all
times when hydrogen (H2) gas is supplied to the instrument.
WA R N I N G
Hydrogen (H2) is flammable. Leaks, when confined in an enclosed
space, may create a fire or explosion hazard. In any application
using hydrogen (H2), leak test all connections, lines, and valves
before operating the instrument. Always turn off the hydrogen
(H2) supply at its source before working on the instrument.
Advanced User Guide
179
8
Inlets
Inlet Overview
Table 21
Comparing inlets
Inlet
Column
Mode
Sample
concentration
Split/splitless
Capillary
Split
Pulsed split
High
High
Splitless
Pulsed splitless
Low
Low
Split
Pulsed split
Splitless
Pulsed splitless
Solvent vent
High
High
Low
Low
Low
Multimode
Capillary
Comments
Useful with large
injections
Useful with large
injections
Sample
to column
Very little
Very little
All
All
Very little
Very little
All
All
Multiple injections Most
concentrate
analytes and
vent solvent
All
Direct
Capillary
n/a
Low or labile
Packed column
Packed
Large capillary
n/a
n/a
Any
Any
Programmed
temperature
vaporization
Capillary
Split
Pulsed split
Splitless
Pulsed splitless
Solvent vent
High
High
Low
Low
Low
Very little
Very little
All
All
Multiple injections Most
concentrate
analytes and
vent solvent
Volatiles interface
(for use with
external volatiles
sampler)
Capillary
Direct
Split
Splitless
Low
High
Low
Lowest dead
volume
Max flow = 100
mL/min
180
Minimal
discrimination
and
decomposition
All
Cool on-column
OK if resolution
not critical
All
All
All
Very little
All
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
8
Carrier Gas Flow Rates
The flow rates in Table 22 are recommended for all column
temperatures.
Table 22
Column type
Column size and carrier flow rate
Column size
Carrier flow rate, mL/min
Hydrogen
Packed
Capillary
Advanced User Guide
Helium
Nitrogen
1/8-inch
30
20
1/4-inch
60
40
0.05 mm id
0.5
0.4
n/a
0.10 mm id
1.0
0.8
n/a
0.20 mm id
2.0
1.6
0.25
0.25 mm id
2.5
2.0
0.5
0.32 mm id
3.2
2.6
0.75
0.53 mm id
5.3
4.2
1.5
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8
Inlets
About Gas Saver
Gas saver reduces carrier flow from the split vent after the
sample is on the column. It applies to the Split/Splitless and
PTV inlets (all modes) and to the split and splitless modes
of the Volatiles Interface. It is most useful in split
applications.
Column head pressure and flow rate are maintained, while
purge and split vent flows decrease. Flows—except column
flow—remain at the reduced level until you press [Prep Run].
[Start]
50
Split mode
Gas saver time, 3 min
Regular flow
[Prep Run]
Run ends
40
Split vent flow
mL/min
30
Gas saver flow
20 Gas saver flow
10
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Time, min
[Start]
50
Splitless mode
Gas saver time, 5 min
Purge time, 2 min
[Prep Run]
40
Split vent flow
mL/min
Run ends
Purge flow
30
Gas saver flow
20 Gas saver flow
10
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Time, min
The pulsed modes of the split/splitless and PTV inlets are
similar except for the pressure pulse starting at [Prep Run]
and ending at Pulse time. The solvent vent mode of the PTV
is more complex; see “PTV inlet solvent vent mode“.
To use gas saver
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
182
2
Turn gas saver On.
3
Set Gas saver flow. It must be at least 15 mL/min greater
than the column flow.
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
4
Advanced User Guide
8
If in split mode, set Saver time after injection time. In all
other modes, set after Purge time.
183
8
Inlets
Pre Run and Prep Run
With some inlets and operating modes, certain instrument
setpoints are different between runs than during an analysis.
To restore the setpoints for injection, you must place the GC
into the Pre Run state.
You must use the Pre Run state when:
• Using gas saver with any inlet.
• Using splitless mode with any inlet.
• Using a pressure pulse mode with any inlet.
• Using the solvent vent mode of the PTV inlet.
• Using the direct or splitless mode of the Volatiles
Interface.
There are three ways to begin Pre Run—manually (press
[Prep Run] before each run), automatically (for Agilent
samplers), or using Auto Prep Run (for non- Agilent samplers).
The three methods are discussed below.
During the Pre Run state:
• The Pre Run light blinks and Not Ready is on.
• Setpoints change to the correct values for injection.
• Inlet, detector, and oven equilibration times begin.
When all equilibration times expire, the Pre Run light is on
steadily. When all criteria for a run are met, the Not Ready
light turns off. The GC is now ready for sample injection.
The [Prep Run] key
Press [Prep Run] before you inject a sample manually. The GC
enters the Pre Run state. When the Pre Run light is steady
and the Not Ready light goes off, begin the analysis.
Agilent samplers
If you are using an Agilent automatic sampling system, the
[Prep Run] function is automatic.
Start the sampler. It generates the [Prep Run] function, When
all the setpoints are reached and the GC becomes Ready,
sample injection begins.
184
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Non-Agilent samplers
With most automatic injection systems, you do not need to
use the [Prep Run] key. If your sampler or automation
controller (for example, an integrator or workstation) does
not support the [Prep Run] function, you must set the GC to
Auto Prep Run.
Auto Prep Run
To set this parameter, usually for a non- Agilent integrator,
workstation, or other controlling device:
1 Press [Config] to view a list of configurable parameters.
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Instrument and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Auto prep run and press [On/Yes].
185
8
Inlets
About Heaters
Inlets (and detectors, valve boxes, etc.) are heated. There are
six heater connectors on the GC mainframe, located as
shown here:
Front of GC
Near top right corner
of front detector board
3
Near top right corner
of back detector board
4
Left end of valve bracket
5
Right end of valve bracket
6
1
2
Near front inlet
Near back inlet
All heater connectors are square, 4- conductor receptacles
mounted on brackets.
The next table describes the heater locations that are
available for each module.
Table 23
186
Heater connection locations by module
Module
Available heater connection location
Front inlet
1 or None
Back inlet
2 or None
Front detector
3 or 5
Back detector
4 or 6
Aux detector 1
5 or 6 or 2
Aux detector 2
None
PCM A
5 or 6 or 1 or 2
PCM B
5 or 6 or 1 or 2
PCM C
5 or 6 or 1 or 2
AUX 1,2,3
None
AUX 4,5,6
None
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Table 23
Heater connection locations by module (continued)
Module
Available heater connection location
AUX 7,8,9
None
Valve box
5 or 6 or Both
Aux heater 1
5
Aux heater 2
6
Front FPD uses heater connectors 3 and 5.
Back FPD uses heater connectors 4 and 6.
FPDs can be configured for one or two heater versions.
Advanced User Guide
187
8
Inlets
About the Split/Splitless Inlet
This inlet is used for split, splitless, pulsed splitless, or
pulsed split analyses. You can choose the operating mode
from the inlet parameter list. The split mode is generally
used for major component analyses, while the splitless mode
is used for trace analyses. The pulsed splitless and pulsed
split modes are used for the same type of analyses as split
or splitless, but allow you to inject larger samples.
Septum tightening (S/SL)
Septum retainer nuts must be tightened enough to obtain a
good gas seal, but not so much as to compress the septum
and make it difficult to push a syringe needle through it.
For the standard septum retainer nut, an internal spring in
the septum retainer applies pressure to the septum. For inlet
pressures up to 100 psi, tighten the retainer until the C- ring
lifts about 1 mm above the top surface. This is adequate for
most situations.
1 mm
With higher inlet pressures, tighten the septum retainer until
the C- ring stops turning, indicating that the retainer is in
firm contact with the septum.
If using a Merlin Microseal™ septum, finger tighten the
septum nut, until snug (not loose). The pressure capacity
depends on the duckbill seal used.
Standard and high-pressure versions of the S/SL inlet
The standard split/splitless inlet is rated to 100 psi pressure
at the inlet. It is appropriate for most columns. The
high- pressure inlet is rated to 150 psi pressure—it is useful
with very small diameter capillary columns that offer
considerable resistance to gas flow.
Recommended source pressures are 120 psi and 170 psi
respectively.
188
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
8
To determine the version that you have, press [Front Inlet] or
[Back Inlet], scroll to the Pressure line, and press the [Info]
key. The display will show the pressure range for the
inlet—either 1 to 100 psi (for the standard version) or 1 to 150
psi (for the high- pressure version).
Split/Splitless inlet split mode overview
During a split injection, a liquid sample is introduced into a
hot inlet where it vaporizes rapidly. A small amount of the
vapor enters the column while the major portion exits from
the split/purge vent. The ratio of column flow to split vent
flow is controlled by the user. Split injections are primarily
used for high concentration samples when you can afford to
lose most of the sample out the split/purge vent. It is also
used for samples that cannot be diluted.
The split ratio is equal to the split vent flow divided by the
column flow. If the column has been configured, the desired
split ratio can be entered directly.
The pneumatics for this inlet in split mode operation are
shown in the figure below.
Advanced User Guide
189
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Split/Splitless inlet splitless mode overview
In this mode, the split vent valve is closed during the
injection and remains so while the sample is vaporized in
the liner and transferred to the column. At a specified time
after injection, the valve opens to sweep any vapors
remaining in the liner out the split vent. This avoids solvent
tailing due to the large inlet volume and small column flow
rate. Specify the purge time and purge flow rate in the inlet
parameter list.
The septum purge flow may be either on at all times
(Standard mode) or on only between the purge time and the
end of the run (Switched mode).
If you are using gas saver, the gas saver time should be after
the purge time.
190
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
The S/SL inlet pulsed split and splitless modes
The pressure pulse modes increase inlet pressure just before
the beginning of a run and return it to the normal value
after a specified amount of time. The pressure pulse:
• reduces the solvent vapor volume
• reduces the risk of inlet overload
• tightens the sample band
• may allow use of a 2 mm liner, reducing the active glass
area
If your chromatography is degraded by the pressure pulse, a
retention gap may help restore peak shape.
You must press [Prep Run] before doing manual injections in
the pressure pulse modes. See “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184 for details.
Advanced User Guide
191
8
Inlets
You can do column pressure and flow programming when in
the pressure pulse mode. However, the pressure pulse will
take precedence over the column pressure or flow ramp.
Pressure pulse
Pressure
or
Flow
Pressure or flow program
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Split/Splitless inlet split mode minimum operating pressures
The minimum recommended inlet total flow is
20 mL/minute. When the split/splitless inlet is operated in
Split mode, there will be a minimum pressure at which the
inlet can operate. Typically, low inlet pressures may be
required for shorter, wide bore columns. The minimum
pressure is a function of carrier gas type, total inlet flow,
liner design, and possible contamination of the split vent
tube or trap.
A wide bore column requires a much lower inlet pressure
than a typical capillary column to maintain a given flow.
Setting the split ratio (total flow) too high when using a
wide bore column can create an unstable control
relationship between the pressure and flow control loops.
192
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Table 24
Approximate minimum viable inlet pressures for split/splitless inlet in split mode, in psi (kPa)
Split vent flow (mL/min)
50–100
100–200
200–400
400–600
Split liners - 5183-4647, 19251-60540
2.5 (17.2)
3.5 (24.1
4.5 (31)
6.0 (41.4)
Splitless liners - 5062-3587, 5181-8818
4.0 (27.6)
5.5 (37.9)
8.0 (55.2)
11.0 (75.4)
Split liners - 19251-60540, 5183-4647
3.0 (20.7)
4.0(27.6)
—
—
Splitless liners - 5062-3587, 5181-8818
4.0 (27.6)
6.0 (41.4)
—
—
Helium and hydrogen carrier gases
Nitrogen carrier gas
These numbers are based on the resistance to flow of new,
clean inlet systems. Sample condensation in the split vent
tube or a dirty filter can make these values non- attainable.
Selecting the correct S/SL inlet liner
Split liner
A good liner for split mode operation will offer very little
restriction to the split flow path between the bottom of the
liner and the inlet gold seal and between the outside of the
liner and the inside of the injection port body. The preferred
Agilent split liner, part number 5183- 4647, incorporates a
glass positioning bead on the bottom to facilitate this. It will
also incorporate glass wool or some other source of surface
area inside the liner that provides for complete sample
vaporization across the boiling point range of the sample.
Select an appropriate liner from Table 25.
Table 25
Split mode liners
Liner
Advanced User Guide
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated
Part Number
Low Pressure Drop
– Positioning Bead
870 µL
Split – Fast
Injection
Yes
5183-4647
4mm ID, Glass Wool 990 µL
Split – Fast
Injection
No
19251-60540
Empty Pin & Cup
800 µL
Split – Manual
Only
No
18740-80190
Packed Pin & Cup
800 µL
Split – Manual
Only
No
18740-60840
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Inlets
Splitless liner
The liner volume must contain the solvent vapor. The liner
should be deactivated to minimize sample breakdown during
the purge delay. Solvent vapor volume can be reduced by
using Pulsed Splitless mode. Use the “Vapor Volume
Calculator“ to determine vapor volume requirements.
Vapor volume < 300 µL Use 2 mm liner (250 µL volume),
5181- 8818 or similar.
Vapor volume 225 – 300 µL
reduce vapor volume.
Vapor volume > 300 µL
Consider pulsed splitless mode to
Use 4 mm liner, 5062- 3587 or similar.
Vapor volume > 800 µL Consider pulsed splitless mode to
reduce vapor volume.
For thermally labile or reactive samples, use G1544- 80700
(open top) or G1544- 80730 (top taper) liners.
Table 26
Liner
194
Splitless mode liners
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated Part Number
Single Taper Glass
Wool
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5062-3587
Single Taper
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3316
Dual Taper
800 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3315
2 mm Quartz
250 uL
Splitless
No
18740-80220
2 mm Quartz
250 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-8818
1.5 mm
140 uL
No
Direct
Inject, Purge
and Trap,
Headspace
18740-80200
Single Taper Glass
Wool
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5062-3587
Single Taper
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3316
4 mm Single Taper
Direct column connect
Yes
G1544-80730
4 mm Dual Taper
Direct column connect
Yes
G1544-80700
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Vapor Volume Calculator
Agilent provides a Vapor Volume Calculator to help you
determine if a liner is suitable for a method. To use the
calculator install the Agilent Instrument utility provided with
the GC. The calculator is also provided with the Agilent
Instrument Utilities software.
Setting parameters for the S/SL split mode
Mode
The current operating mode—split
Temperature
Pressure
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures
Actual and setpoint inlet pressure
Split ratio The ratio of split vent flow to column flow.
Column flow is set at the Column parameter list. This line
appears only if your columns in the flow path are defined.
Split flow Flow, in mL/min, from the split vent. This line
appears only if your columns in the flow path are defined.
Total flow This is the total flow into the inlet, which is the
sum of the split vent flow, column flow, and septum purge flow.
When you change the total flow, the split ratio and split vent flow
change while the column flow and pressure remain the same.
Septum Purge Flow, in mL/min, through the septum purge
line. Recommended range is 1 to 5 mL/min.
If all columns in the flow path are defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Split.
3
Set the inlet temperature.
4
If you want a specific split ratio, scroll to Split ratio and
enter that number. Split flow will be calculated for you.
5
If you want a specific split flow, scroll to Split flow and
enter that number. Split ratio will be calculated for you.
6
If desired, turn on Gas saver. Set Saver time after the
injection time. Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep
Run” on page 184) before manually injecting the sample.
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8
Inlets
If a column in the flow path is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
2
Set the inlet temperature.
3
Set Total flow into the inlet. It must exceed your intended
Septum Purge flow. Measure the split vent flow using a
flow meter.
4
Subtract split vent flow and septum purge flow (see “Pre
Run and Prep Run” on page 184) from Total flow to get
column flow.
5
Calculate the split ratio (split vent flow/column flow).
Adjust as needed.
Selecting parameters for the S/SL splitless mode
A successful splitless injection consists of these steps:
1 Vaporize the sample and solvent in a heated inlet.
2
Use a low flow and low oven temperature to create a
solvent- saturated zone at the head of the column.
3
Use this zone to trap and reconcentrate the sample at the
head of the column.
4
Wait until all, or at least most, of the sample has
transferred to the column. Then discard the remaining
vapor in the inlet—which is mostly solvent—by opening a
purge valve. This eliminates the long solvent tail that this
vapor would otherwise cause.
5
Raise the oven temperature to release the solvent and
then the sample from the head of the column.
Some experimentation is needed to refine the operating
conditions. Table 27 provides starting values for the critical
parameters.
Table 27
196
Splitless mode inlet parameters
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven temperature
No cryo, 24 °C to 450 °C
10 °C below solvent
CO2 cryo, –60 °C to 450 °C boiling point
N2 cryo, –80 °C to 450 °C
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
≥ Inlet purge time
Inlet purge time
0 to 999.9 minutes
2 x Liner volume
Column flow
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Table 27
Splitless mode inlet parameters
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Gas saver time
0 to 999.9 minutes
After purge time
Gas saver flow
15 to 1000 mL/min
15 mL/min greater than
maximum column flow
Setting parameters for the S/SL splitless mode
Mode
The current operating mode—splitless
Oven temperature
Temperature
Pressure
kPa
Below solvent boiling point
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures
Actual and setpoint inlet pressure in psi, bar, or
Purge time The time, after the beginning of the run, when
you want the purge valve to open. This is the time in which
the vaporized sample transfers from the liner to the column.
Purge flow The flow, in mL/min, from the purge vent, at
Purge time. You will not be able to specify this value if any
column in the flow path is not defined.
Total flow
The actual flow to the inlet during a Pre- run
(Pre- run light is on and not blinking) and during a run
before purge time. You cannot enter a setpoint at these
times. At all other times, Total flow will have both setpoint
and actual values.
Septum Purge
line.
Flow, in mL/min, through the septum purge
Septum Purge Flow Mode Standard (septum purge flow is On
at all times) or Switched (septum purge flow is Off during
injection, turns On at Purge time).
If all columns in the flow path are defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature.
197
8
Inlets
4
Enter a Purge time and a Purge flow.
5
If desired, turn on Gas saver. Make certain the time is set
after the Purge time.
6
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample (this is
automatic for Agilent ALS).
If a column in the flow path is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature.
4
Enter a Purge time.
5
Set your Total flow greater than the sum of column flow
plus the septum purge flow—see “Pre Run and Prep Run”
on page 184—to guarantee adequate column flow.
6
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample.
Setting parameters for the S/SL pulsed modes
The pulsed mode parameters are the same as the non- pulsed
parameters, but with two additional values.
Pulsed pressure The inlet pressure you want at the start of
the run. The pressure rises to this value when [Prep Run] is
pressed and remains constant until Pulse time elapses, when
it returns to Pressure.
Pulse time This is the time after the start of the run when
the inlet pressure returns to Pressure.
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Inlets
About the Multimode Inlet
The Agilent Multimode (MMI) Inlet System has five operating
modes:
• The split mode is generally used for major component
analyses.
• The pulsed split mode is like the split mode, but with a
pressure pulse applied to the inlet during sample
introduction to speed the transfer of material to the
column.
• The splitless mode is used for trace analyses.
• The pulsed splitless mode allows for a pressure pulse
during sample introduction.
• The solvent vent mode is used for large volume injection.
Either single or multiple injections can be made for each
run.
• The direct mode allows for a direct forward pressure of
carrier gas through the column. Both the split vent valve
and the septum purge valve are closed.
The MMI can be used with both manual and automatic
injection.
Automatic multiple injections (large volume injections) is not
available under GC control alone. See “MMI solvent vent
mode” on page 214.
Septum tightening (MMI)
Septum retainer nuts must be tightened enough to obtain a
good gas seal, but not so much as to compress the septum
and make it difficult to push a syringe needle through it.
For the standard septum retainer nut, an internal spring in
the septum retainer applies pressure to the septum. For inlet
pressures up to 100 psi, tighten the retainer until the C- ring
lifts about 1 mm above the top surface. This is adequate for
most situations.
1 mm
Advanced User Guide
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8
Inlets
With higher inlet pressures, tighten the septum retainer until
the C- ring stops turning, indicating that the retainer is in
firm contact with the septum.
If using a Merlin Microseal™ septum, finger tighten the
septum nut, until snug (not loose). The pressure capacity
depends on the duckbill seal used.
Heating the MMI
Programming the MMI temperature is similar to
programming the column oven. Access the inlet parameters
by pressing [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet]. Temperature can be
programmed with an initial temperature and up to 10 ramps
(rates and plateaus). See “MMI split and pulsed split modes“
for details.
At the end of the run and during post- run, the MMI is held
at its final temperature. This permits backflushing without
contaminating the inlet.
Additional temperature ramps
For most purposes, the MMI is designed to hold the sample
in the inlet liner until the entire sample—there could be
several injections—has been injected. Then the MMI is heated
rapidly to transfer the sample to the column. This can be
accomplished with an initial hold, a single ramp, and a hold
at the end to complete sample transfer.
Additional ramps are available and have several possible
uses:
• The inlet can be heated to a high temperature to
thermally clean the liner for the next run.
• The inlet can be programmed downward—just set the
Final temp below the previous temperature—to reduce
thermal stress on the inlet.
• Downward programming can be used to prepare the inlet
for the next run. This can reduce cycle time for greater
sample throughput.
Cooling the MMI
If using cryogen to cool the MMI inlet, both liquid carbon
dioxide (LCO2) and liquid nitrogen (LN2) are supported. In
addition to the cryogenic coolants, the MMI supports
compressed air cooling on both the LCO2 and LN2 cooling
options for legacy applications.
200
Advanced User Guide
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Inlets
If using cryo as the coolant when configuring the initial inlet
setpoint, set the Use cryo temperature equal to or higher than
the inlet setpoint to cool the inlet and hold the setpoint
until the inlet temperature program exceeds the Use cryo
temperature. If the Use cryo temperature is less than the inlet
setpoint, cryogen will cool the inlet to the initial setpoint
and turn off.
If using compressed air as the coolant when configuring the
initial inlet setpoint, Use cryo temperature behaves differently
when in Compressed air mode than it does when in N2 cryo or
CO2 cryo mode. In Compressed air mode, the air coolant is used
to cool the inlet regardless of the Use cryo temperature setpoint
during the cooling cycle. If the inlet reaches setpoint, the air
coolant is turned off and stays off. If the oven temperature
is high enough or the inlet was very hot previously, it is
possible that the inlet temperature will rise and the GC will
go not ready. For this reason, it is better to set the
instrument cooling configuration as N2 cryo or CO2 cryo when
using compressed air as the coolant. When using compressed
air, the LN2 hardware cools the inlet faster than the LCO2
hardware. Never use LCO2 or LN2 when the instrument is
configured in Compressed air mode.
If cryo is turned on, and if the inlet is cooled during a run,
cryogen is used to achieve the setpoint. This may have a
negative impact on the chromatographic performance of the
oven and cause distorted peaks.
When a method ends, the cooling setpoint returns to the
initial state of the method, unless you load another method.
To conserve coolant when the GC is idle, load a method that
does not use a cooling configuration.
See “To configure the MMI coolant” on page 32.
MMI split mode minimum operating pressures
The minimum recommended inlet total flow is
20 mL/minute. When the inlet is operated in a Split mode,
there will be a minimum pressure at which the inlet can
operate. Typically, low inlet pressures may be required for
shorter, wide bore columns. The minimum pressure is a
function of carrier gas type, total inlet flow, liner design,
and possible contamination of the split vent tube or trap.
Advanced User Guide
201
8
Inlets
A wide bore column requires a much lower inlet pressure
than a typical capillary column to maintain a given flow.
Setting the split ratio (total flow) too high when using a
wide bore column can create an unstable control
relationship between the pressure and flow control loops.
Table 28
Approximate minimum viable inlet pressures for MMI in split mode, in psi (kPa)
Split vent flow (mL/min)
50–100
100–200
200–400
400–600
Split liners - 5183-4647, 19251-60540
2.5 (17.2)
3.5 (24.1
4.5 (31)
6.0 (41.4)
Splitless liners - 5062-3587, 5181-8818
4.0 (27.6)
5.5 (37.9)
8.0 (55.2)
11.0 (75.4)
Split liners - 19251-60540, 5183-4647
3.0 (20.7)
4.0(27.6)
—
—
Splitless liners - 5062-3587, 5181-8818
4.0 (27.6)
6.0 (41.4)
—
—
Helium and hydrogen carrier gases
Nitrogen carrier gas
These numbers are based on the resistance to flow of new,
clean inlet systems. Sample condensation in the split vent
tube or a dirty filter can make these values non- attainable.
Selecting the correct MMI liner
Split liner
A good liner for split mode operation will offer very little
restriction to the split flow path between the bottom of the
liner and the inlet body and between the outside of the liner
and the inside of the inlet body. The preferred Agilent split
liner, part number 5183- 4647, incorporates a glass
positioning bead on the bottom to facilitate this. It will also
incorporate glass wool or some other source of surface area
inside the liner that provides for complete sample
vaporization across the boiling point range of the sample.
Select an appropriate liner from Table 29.
Table 29
Liner
202
Split mode liners
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated
Part Number
Low Pressure Drop
– Positioning Bead
870 µL
Split – Fast
Injection
Yes
5183-4647
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Table 29
Split mode liners
Liner
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated
Part Number
4mm ID, Glass Wool 990 µL
Split – Fast
Injection
No
19251-60540
Empty Pin & Cup
800 µL
Split – Manual
Only
No
18740-80190
Packed Pin & Cup
800 µL
Split – Manual
Only
No
18740-60840
Splitless liner
The liner volume must contain the solvent vapor. The liner
should be deactivated to minimize sample breakdown during
the purge delay. Solvent vapor volume can be reduced by
using Pulsed Splitless mode. Use the “Vapor Volume
Calculator“ to determine vapor volume requirements.
Vapor volume < 300 µL Use 2 mm liner (250 µL volume),
5181- 8818 or similar.
Vapor volume 225 – 300 µL
reduce vapor volume.
Vapor volume > 300 µL
Consider pulsed splitless mode to
Use 4 mm liner, 5062- 3587 or similar.
Vapor volume > 800 µL Consider pulsed splitless mode to
reduce vapor volume.
For thermally labile or reactive samples, use G1544- 80700
(open top) or G1544- 80730 (top taper) liners.
Table 30
Splitless mode liners
Liner
Advanced User Guide
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated Part Number
Single Taper Glass
Wool
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5062-3587
Single Taper
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3316
Dual Taper
800 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3315
2 mm Quartz
250 uL
Splitless
No
18740-80220
2 mm Quartz
250 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-8818
203
8
Inlets
Table 30
Liner
Splitless mode liners (continued)
Description
Volume
Mode
Deactivated Part Number
1.5 mm
140 uL
Direct
No
Inject, Purge
and Trap,
Headspace
18740-80200
Single Taper Glass
Wool
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5062-3587
Single Taper
900 uL
Splitless
Yes
5181-3316
4 mm Single Taper
Direct column connect
Yes
G1544-80730
4 mm Dual Taper
Direct column connect
Yes
G1544-80700
Vapor Volume Calculator
Agilent provides a Vapor Volume Calculator to help you
determine if a liner is suitable for a method. To use the
calculator install the Agilent Instrument utility provided with
the GC. The calculator is also provided with the Agilent
Instrument Utilities software.
MMI split and pulsed split modes
The two split modes—with or without a pressure
pulse—divide the gas stream entering the inlet between the
column flow and the split vent flow through the solenoid
valve. The ratio of the split vent flow to the column flow is
called the split ratio.
The next figure shows the flows with split and pulsed split
modes.
204
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
Carrier supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Cold split introduction
For cold split sample introduction, use an initial inlet
temperature below the normal boiling point of the solvent. If
the liner volume is enough to hold all the vaporized solvent,
start the first inlet temperature ramp at 0.1 minutes with a
high heating rate (500 °C/min or higher). The final
temperature should be high enough to volatilize the heaviest
analytes from the liner and should be held for at least
5 minutes. A final temperature of 350 °C for 5 minutes has
proven sufficient to quantitatively transfer C44.
For larger injection volumes or to eliminate the solvent, hold
the initial temperature long enough to vent the solvent
through the split vent and then begin the first ramp. Use a
fast rate for thermally stable analytes. Slower rates may help
minimize thermal degradation in the inlet.
Advanced User Guide
205
8
Inlets
A single temperature ramp is enough for the injection
process. The remaining ramps may be used to clean the liner
or to reduce the inlet temperature in preparation for the
next injection.
Hot split introduction
For hot split introduction, set an initial temperature high
enough to volatilize the analytes. No additional thermal
parameters are required as the inlet will maintain the
setpoint throughout the run.
Setting parameters for split mode operation
Mode:
The current operating mode—split or pulsed split
Temperature
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures.
Initial temperature
Initial time
Rate #
Starting temperature for the inlet.
Hold time at the inlet initial temperature.
Temperature program rates for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temp #
Final inlet temperature for ramp 1- 10.
Final time #
Hold time at Final temp 1- 10.
Pressure Actual and setpoint inlet pressure. Controls
capillary column flow and linear velocity.
Split ratio The ratio of split flow to column flow. Column
flow is set in the column parameter list. This line does not
appear if a column in the flow path is not defined.
Split flow Flow, in mL/min, from the split/purge vent. This
line does not appear if a column in the flow path is not
defined.
Total flow These are the actual and setpoint values of the
total flow into the inlet, which is the sum of the split flow,
column flow, and septum purge flow. When you change the total
flow, the split ratio and split flow change while the column flow
and pressure remain the same.
Septum Purge
Gas saver
206
Flow through the septum purge vent.
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time.
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Saver flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min.
Saver time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas.
If all columns in the flow path are defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Split or
Pulsed split.
3
Set the inlet temperature (Initial temperature) and any
desired ramps.
4
If you want a specific split ratio, scroll to Split ratio and
enter that number. The split flow will be calculated and
set for you.
5
If you want a specific split flow, scroll to Split flow and
enter that number. The split ratio will be calculated and
displayed for you.
6
If you selected Pulsed split, enter values for Pulsed pressure
(pressure at injection) and Pulse time (minutes after
injection to return to normal pressure).
7
If desired, turn on Gas saver. Set the Saver time after the
injection time.
8
Press [Prep Run] before manually injecting the sample if
the Gas Saver is on (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184 for details.).
If a column in the flow path is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Set the inlet temperature (Initial temperature) and any
desired ramps.
3
Set other parameters as described for a defined column.
4
Set Total flow into the inlet. Measure flows out of the split
vent and septum purge vent using a flow meter.
5
Subtract the septum purge flow and split vent flow from
Total flow to get column flow.
6
Calculate the split ratio (split vent flow/column flow).
Adjust as needed
207
8
Inlets
MMI splitless and pulsed splitless modes
In these modes—with or without a pressure pulse—the split
vent valve is closed during injection and vaporization of the
sample and stays so while the sample transfers to the
column.
At a specified time after injection, the valve opens to sweep
vapors left in the liner out the split vent. This avoids solvent
tailing due to the large inlet volume and small column flow
rate.
Stage 1. Sample injection
With the split vent valve closed, the sample and solvent
transfer to the column.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
208
Column
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
8
Stage 2. Solvent purging
After the sample has transferred to the column, the split
vent valve opens to purge remaining solvent vapor from the
inlet.
Carrier supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Advanced User Guide
Column
209
8
Inlets
Timelines
This figure summarizes the flow, pressure, and temperature
changes during a splitless mode analysis.
Split vent flow
Purge flow
Saver flow
Inlet is
pressure
controlled
Inlet pressure
Prep
Run
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Saver
Time
Stop
Run
Post
Time
Post pressure
Column mode = Constant flow
Inlet pressure
Inlet
temperature
Prep
Run
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Stop
Run
Post
Time
Final temp 1
Initial
temperature
Prep
Run
210
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Cold splitless introduction
For cold splitless introduction, use an initial inlet
temperature below the normal boiling point of the solvent.
For most solvents, starting the first inlet temperature ramp
at 0.1 minutes provides good transfer and reproducibility. A
program rate of 500 °C/min or higher is appropriate for
thermally stable analytes. A final temperature of 350 °C,
held for 5 minutes, has quantitatively transferred up to C44
alkane.
A main advantage of temperature programmability is that
the inlet can be heated gently to transfer delicate analytes. If
the oven temperature is initially low enough to refocus the
analytes on the column, the inlet heating rate can be made
slower (e.g., 120 °C/min). This reduces thermal degradation
from the inlet and can improve peak shape and quantitation.
For most applications of cold splitless, a single temperature
ramp is enough. The remaining ramps can be used to clean
the liner or to decrease the inlet temperature to prepare for
the next injection.
Hot splitless introduction
For hot splitless introduction, select an initial temperature
high enough to volatilize the analytes. No additional
temperature parameters are required as the inlet will
maintain the setpoint throughout the run.
Starting values
A successful splitless injection consists of these steps:
1 Inject the sample and temperature program the inlet to
vaporize it.
Advanced User Guide
2
Use a low column flow and low oven temperature to
create a solvent- saturated zone at the head of the
column.
3
Use this zone to trap and reconcentrate the sample at the
head of the column.
4
Wait until all, or at least most, of the sample has
transferred to the column. Then discard the remaining
vapor in the inlet—which is mostly solvent—by opening a
purge valve. This eliminates the long solvent tail that this
vapor would otherwise cause.
5
Raise the oven temperature to analyze the sample.
211
8
Inlets
Some experimentation is needed to refine the operating
conditions. Table 31 provides starting values for the critical
parameters.
Table 31
Splitless mode inlet parameters
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven temperature
No cryo, ambient+4 °C to 450 °C
CO2 cryo, –40 °C to 450 °C
N2 cryo, –80 °C to 450 °C
10 °C below solvent
boiling point
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
≥ Inlet purge time
Inlet purge time
0 to 200.0 minutes
2 x Liner volume
Column flow
Gas saver time
0 to 999.9 minutes
After purge time
Gas saver flow
15 to 200 mL/min
15 mL/min greater
than maximum column
flow
Inlet temperature
No cryo, oven temp + 10 °C
CO2 cryo, –70 °C to 450 °C
N2 cryo, –160 °C to 450 °C
10 °C below solvent
boiling point for 0.1min,
then ramp up
Setting parameters for the splitless modes
Mode: The current operating mode—Splitless or Pulsed
splitless.
Temperature
Initial time
Rate #
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures.
Hold time at the initial inlet temperature.
Temperature program rates for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temp #
Final inlet temperature for ramp 1- 10.
Final time #
Hold time at Final temp 1- 10.
Pressure
kPa
Actual and setpoint inlet pressure in psi, bar, or
Pulsed pres The inlet pressure you desire at the beginning
of a run. The pressure rises to this setpoint after [Prep Run]
is pressed and remains constant until Pulse time elapses,
when it returns to Pressure.
212
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Pulse time
time.
Pressure returns to its normal setpoint at this
Purge time The time, after the beginning of the run, when
you want the split vent valve to open.
Purge flow The flow, in mL/min, from the split vent, at
Purge time. You will not be able to specify this value if
operating with your column not defined.
Total flow The Total flow line displays the actual flow to the
inlet during a Pre- run (Pre- run light is on and not blinking)
and during a run before purge time. You cannot enter a setpoint
at these times. At all other times, Total flow will have both
setpoint and actual values.
Septum purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time
Server flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min
Server time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas
If the column is defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless or
Pulsed splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature and any desired ramps.
4
Enter a Purge time and a Purge flow.
5
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Make certain the time is set
after the Purge time.
6
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample. This is
automatic if an Agilent sampler is used.
If the column is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless or
Pulsed splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature and any desired ramps.
4
Enter a Purge flow.
213
8
Inlets
5
Enter the Purge time when you wish the split valve to
open.
6
Set Total flow greater than the column flow plus the
septum purge flow to guarantee adequate column flow.
7
Turn Gas saver on, if desired. Set the time after Purge time.
8
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample. This is
automatic if an Agilent sampler is used.
MMI solvent vent mode
This mode is typically used for large volume injections. For
single injection use a 50 to 500 µL syringe and the ALS
variable plunger speed to slowly inject the sample.
The sample is injected into a cold inlet. If conditions are
properly chosen and the sample is suitable, analytes deposit
in the inlet liner while the solvent evaporates and is swept
out. Large or multiple injections can be used to concentrate
sample in the inlet before transferring to the column for
analysis.
Stage 1. Sample and vent
During sampling and venting, the split valve is open. The
inlet is at Initial temperature, which is at or below the solvent
boiling point.
Solvent vapors are swept out the vent, while sample deposits
on the liner walls or packing.
214
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Carrier supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Stage 2.
Sample transfer
When solvent venting ends, the split valve vent closes and
the inlet heats to Final temperature 1. The sample transfers to
the capillary column during Purge time. (Purge flow to split vent
in a data system).
Advanced User Guide
215
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Stage 3. Purge and cleanup
The split valve opens again and the system returns to the
Stage 1 configuration but with different setpoints. The MMI
is flushed. Additional ramp rates are available to thermally
clean the inlet or to reduce inlet temperature after sample
transfer. This can extend the life of the liner.
Temperature, pressure, and flow considerations
The solvent vent mode goes through three distinct pneumatic
states; venting, sample transfer, and purging. The vent
portion allows the inlet pressure and the vent flow to be
adjusted to optimize solvent elimination. The transfer state
mimics traditional splitless operation and transports the
analytes from the liner to the column. The purging mode
allows the user to prepare the inlet for the next run.
216
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
A fundamental difficulty with solvent vent mode is the
potential loss of volatile analytes with the solvent. Several
solutions are possible for this situation:
• The inlet liner can be packed with a more retentive
material, such as Tenax. This greatly improves volatile
analyte recovery but may impact recovery of higher
boiling materials.
• Some of the solvent can be left in the liner when sample
transfer begins. The residual solvent acts like a stationary
phase and retains volatile material, but at the expense of
a larger solvent peak.
• The inlet temperature can be reduced. This reduces the
vapor pressure of the volatile analytes and permits higher
recoveries.
Solvent removal can be speeded up by:
• Reducing pressure in the inlet during sample
introduction—the Vent pressure parameter
• Increasing flow through the inlet—the Vent flow parameter
While all these possibilities do complicate use of the PTV,
they provide increased flexibility and new potential to solve
difficult problems.
Sequence of operations
These are the steps in a typical analysis using the solvent
vent mode:
Table 32
The solvent vent process
Step
1
Before injection
Parameter
Value
Flow at split vent
Either Purge flow or Saver flow
Inlet pressure
Derived from column setpoint
The system is resting, with Purge flow (or Saver flow, if on) through the inlet.
2
Prep Run begins
Flow at split vent
Vent flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Vent pressure setpoint
Setpoints change to prepare for injection. When GC is ready, the sample is injected. Inlet and oven
temperature program Init times begin. Solvent venting and analyte trapping begin.
3
At Vent end time
Flow at split vent
None, split valve closed
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Solvent venting ends, analyte transfer begins as inlet heats up.
Advanced User Guide
217
8
Inlets
Table 32
The solvent vent process (continued)
Step
4
At Purge time
Parameter
Value
Flow at split vent
Purge flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Analyte transfer ends, inlet is purged of residual vapor. Analysis begins.
5
At Saver time
Flow at split vent
Saver flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Analysis ends, carrier flow reduced to save gas (if Saver is on).
Some important points
• The flow through the column is governed by the pressure
in the inlet. This is controlled, during the analysis part of
the process, by the flow or pressure setpoint or program
entered for the column.
• The controlling times must be in the order shown; Vent
end time before Purge time, and Purge time before Saver time.
• Vent end time must occur before the inlet starts to heat
and release analytes.
• Purge time must occur before the oven begins to heat and
move sample through the column.
Timelines
Time increases downward; all other quantities increase to
the right.
218
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Time
Oven temperature
Inlet temperature
Inlet pressure
Split vent flow
Controlled by column
flow or pressure setpoint
or program
Between runs
Prep Run
Start Run
Vent pressure
Saver or
Purge flow
Vent flow
Initial time
Vent end time
Rate 1
Inlet is
pressure
controlled
Initial time
Final temperature 1
Final time 1
Purge time
Rate 1
Other rates,
temperatures,
and times, if
desired
Controlled by
column flow or
pressure setpoint
or program
Purge flow
Final temperature 1
Final time 1
Saver time
Other rates,
temperatures,
and times, if
desired
Saver flow,
if on
When is Start Run?
Both the inlet and oven temperature programs begin at Start
Run. All times—such as Purge time—are measured from Start
Run. When does Start Run occur?
• If the sample is injected manually, Start Run occurs when
the user presses the [Start] key.
• If a single injection per run is made using an
autosampler, Start Run occurs when the syringe carrier
moves down to make the injection.
• If multiple injections per run are made using an
autosampler, Start Run occurs when the syringe carrier
moves down to make the first injection of the set. There
are no Start Run signals for the rest of the injections in
the set.
Advanced User Guide
219
8
Inlets
These additional injections take time. The inlet and oven
temperature programs, mainly the Initial time values, must be
adjusted to allow for this. So must the various time values
that control the inlet operation. This is discussed in more
detail under “To develop a MMI method that uses large
volume injection” on page 223.
Setting parameters for solvent vent operation
Mode:
The current operating mode—solvent vent.
Temperature
Actual and setpoint initial inlet temperatures.
Initial time The time, measured from Start Run, when the
initial inlet temperature hold ends. Must be greater than Vent
end time.
Rate #
Temperature program rate for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temperature #
Final inlet temperature for ramp 1- 10.
Final time # Hold time at Final temp #. This time is a
duration; it is not measured from Start Run.
Pressure Actual and setpoint inlet pressure before and after
the vent period. It sets the starting point of column head
pressure.
Vent pressure The inlet pressure during the vent period. By
decreasing the inlet pressure while venting, solvent
elimination proceeds faster. Also, the pressure reduction
decreases the amount of carrier gas—and solvent vapor—that
enters the column during this time.
Users select from 0 to 100 psig. If 0 is chosen, the inlet uses
the lowest pressure possible at the given vent flow. Table 33
shows approximate values for this minimum at various vent
flows of helium. Pressures less than those in the table are
not possible unless the flow is reduced.
Table 33
220
Minimum attainable pressures
Vent flow (mL/min)
Actual vent pressure at
“0“ psig setpoint
Actual vent pressure at
“0” kPa setpoint
50
0.7
5
100
1.3
10
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Table 33
Minimum attainable pressures
Vent flow (mL/min)
Actual vent pressure at
“0“ psig setpoint
Actual vent pressure at
“0” kPa setpoint
200
2.6
18
500
6.4
44
1000
12.7
88
Vent flow The flow of carrier gas out the split vent during
the vent period. Higher flows sweep the liner more quickly
and reduce the time for solvent elimination. For most
columns, 100 mL/min vent flow eliminates solvent at an
acceptable rate but puts minimal material on the column.
Vent end time The time, measured from Start Run, when
solvent venting ends. For large volume injections, this time is
normally greater than the time for the injection to complete.
Purge time The time, measured from Start Run, when
sample transfer ends. It began at Vent end time.
Purge flow The flow of carrier gas to the inlet beginning at
Purge time.
Total flow
The actual flow into the inlet.
Septum Purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time
Saver flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min
Saver time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas
If the column is defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Solvent vent.
3
Enter a Vent pressure, a Vent flow, and a Vent end time.
4
Set the inlet temperature and ramps, as desired.
5
Enter a Purge time and a Purge flow.
6
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Make certain the time is set
after the Purge time.
221
8
Inlets
7
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample.
If the column is not defined
1 Set up the parameters as described for the defined
column case.
2
Set Total flow greater than the column flow plus the
septum purge flow to guarantee adequate column flow.
MMI Direct Mode
MMI Direct Mode is a pneumatic configuration that allows
on- column like behavior. In this mode, you still use a liner
to trap involatile material but the sample can only enter the
column.
Direct mode works best with direct connect liners. These
liners form a seal with the column so that the sample
cannot leak out of the liner. The inlet is held at a
temperature below the solvent boiling point, just as in cool
on- column (COC) during the injection. Pneumatically, the
inlet is in forward pressure regulation, similar to the
splitless portion of splitless mode. The inlet is then
temperature programmed to transfer any remaining volatile
material to the column.
The only control parameter for Direct Mode is inlet pressure.
You can run the column in any of its normal control modes
(constant pressure, constant flow, ramped pressure, ramped
flow). Gas saver does not work in this mode as there is no
purge state.
The next figure shows the flows with direct mode.
222
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
Carrier supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
To develop a MMI method that uses large volume injection
This topic provides a recommended way to change from a
splitless injection using a split/splitless inlet to a solvent
vent mode injection using a Multimode inlet (MMI). It applies
mainly to large volume injections (LVI) using a Multimode
inlet, but the concepts can apply to general MMI use. This
topic does not consider all items that can impact an
analysis, for example the liner, solvent, analyte boiling
points, or polarity. This topic also assumes knowledge of
your data system—when to save a method, how to start a
run, how to set up a single run, etc.
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Inlets
The main advantage of the MMI's solvent vent mode is that
you can inject slowly into the inlet, allowing large amounts
of solvent to evaporate in the liner (not in the split vent
line), concentrating the analytes prior to injection. This
requires an injector with variable speed injections, a "large"
syringe, and knowledge of the sample and the solvent. When
developing a solvent vent method, the goal for the injection
is to determine the injection rates and temperatures needed
to evaporate the solvent at the rate it enters the inlet. The
development technique is to gradually scale up to an
injection amount that produces a useful response. The most
significant parameters are:
Inlet temperature. Hold the inlet temperature at or slightly
below the solvent boiling point until after all the sample has
been injected. This is important so that you do not boil away
more volatile analytes, or boil away the solvent in the needle
and trap your analytes there. An additional point to consider
is that the boiling point of the earliest eluting analyte should
be 100 °C > the boiling point of the solvent.
Injection speed. Estimate the evaporation rate of solvent
exiting the needle based on solvent type, inlet temperature,
vent flow, and pressure. Start with about half that number.
Note that you have to make sure that you configure the
syringe properly. If not, you will over- or under- load the
inlet.
Vent time. Make sure the vent time setpoint is greater than
the time the needle spends in the inlet. If the vent time is
too short, you will overload and contaminate the column and
inlet. Change the vent time as you upscale the method.
If using a MMI with an MSD, another tip for method
development is to scan for solvent ions. Detecting the solvent
ions can be useful in troubleshooting residual solvent bleed
onto the column.
To develop a MMI method for large volume injection, try the
following:
1 Determine a small injection volume that works on a
split/splitless inlet in splitless mode. Choose a volume
that does not currently overload the inlet.
224
2
Start with a 5–10 uL syringe and make sure the syringe
is properly configured in the instrument and data system.
3
Make sure the column is configured.
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Inlets
4
Set up the inlet to perform a 1 uL injection. Use the
split/splitless inlet method conditions, except:
• Start with the inlet temperature cold, near but slightly
below the solvent boiling point. For example, if using
methylene chloride (boiling point 39 °C), start with a
temperature of 30–39 °C.
• Use Splitless mode.
• Ramp to the normal split/splitless inlet temperature
5
Note the response achieved.
6
Next, change the inlet mode to Solvent Vent.
7
Check the injector timings.
a Install an empty sample vial in the injector turret or
tray.
b Input the injection rate (Draw, Dispense, and Inject
rates) for the injector and increase the injection
volume to 5 uL.
c Enter draft Solvent Vent parameters:
• Set a Vent Flow of 100 mL/min as a starting point.
• Keep the inlet isothermal for now
• Enter a Vent Pressure of 0 psi (0 kPa) until 0.1 min.
• Make an injection using the empty vial. Use a
stopwatch or your GC's timer feature to time how
long the needle is in the inlet.
8
Enter revised Solvent Vent mode parameters.
• Set the method's Vent Time to be about 0.05 min
longer than the time the needle spends in the inlet.
• Set the inlet temperature initial Hold Time to be about
0.05 min longer than the vent pressure until time.
• Program the inlet to ramp quickly to the injection
temperature. Make sure the ramp starts after the vent
pressure until time.
• Set the Purge Flow to Split Vent to 30 mL/min. Set the
purge time to be the vent pressure until time + 1
minute.
9
Make a 5 uL injection of your standard. You should see 5
times the response.
If the response of all analytes is too low:
• The dispense speed is too fast. Liquid was injected
into the inlet and pushed out the vent.
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Inlets
• The vent time is too long. The inlet started to heat
while the vent was open.
If the response of early eluters is too low:
• The inlet temperature is too high.
• The Vent Flow is too high.
If the response of late eluters is too low:
• The purge time is too short.
• The final inlet temperature is too low.
10 If you need more injection volume and the 5 uL worked
to give 5X response, change the syringe to a larger one,
for example 50 uL.
11 Set up the data system to perform a 25 uL injection.
12 Configure the syringe. Make sure the plunger speeds on
the injector are still set properly.
13 Recheck the injector timings. See step 12.
14 Set a new vent time and initial inlet temperature time
based on the new time the needle spends in the syringe.
15 Make a 25 uL injection of your standard. Again, you
should see 5 times the response. If not, see step 13.
16 If you need more response, repeat steps 10 – 15 to
increase to larger volume. Also try performing 5 x 5 uL
injections, then 5 x 50 uL injections.
Multiple injections with the MMI
The preferred technique for concentrating analytes in the
inlet liner is to use a single, large volume injection. Using a
high capacity syringe and one septum puncture reduces the
possibility of contamination and generally improves results
when compared against a multiple septum puncture
technique. However, if needed, you can perform multiple
septum punctures during the vent time. This technique
requires an Agilent data system and automatic liquid
sampler.
Data system requirements
An Agilent data system is necessary for multiple injection
because the needed parameters are not available through the
GC keyboard.
GC ChemStation
226
Software revision B.04.01 SP1 or later.
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
MSD ChemStation
EZChrom
Software revision E.02.00 SP2 or later
Software revision 3.3.2 or later
Setting parameters for the inlet in solvent vent mode
Set or configure the following parameters in the data
system's 7890A GC method editor.
Syringe size — Verify the syringe size is configured correctly.
The configured syringe size changes the available choices for
injection volume.
Injection volume — Select the injection volume, then enter a
number of injections. The total injection volume will be
displayed.
Multiple Injection Delay — A pause time, in seconds,
between injections. This is added to the minimum hardware
cycle time.
Preinjection washes and pumps are performed only before
the first injection of a multiple injection set.
Postinjection washes are performed only after the last
injection in a multiple injection set.
An example
These values were used for a sample with a broad range of
boiling points.
Table 34
Advanced User Guide
General parameters
Name
Value
Sample
C10 to C44 hydrocarbons in hexane
Mode
Solvent vent
MMI liner
Glass wool packed
Injection volume
One 10.0 μL injection (25 μL syringe)
Injection speed
Fast
Column
30 m x 320 μm x 0.25 μm -5, part
number 19091J-413
Column flow
4 mL/min constant flow
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Inlets
Table 35
Inlet parameters
Name
Value
Name
Initial temp
40 °C
Rate 2 (off)
Initial time
0.3 min
Pressure
15.6 psig
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Vent pressure
0.0 psig
Final temp 1
450 °C
Vent flow
100 mL/min
Final time 1
5 min
Vent end time
0.2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Purge time
2.0 min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Purge flow
50 mL/min
Final time 2
0 min
Table 36
Value
Oven parameters
Name
Value
Initial temp
40 °C
Initial time
2.5 min
Rate 1
25 °C/min
Final temp 1
320 °C
Final time 1
10.0 min
Rate 2 (off)
Table 37
228
Detector parameters
Name
Value
Detector
FID
Detector temp
400 °C
Hydrogen flow
40 mL/min
Air flow
450 mL/min
Makeup (N2)
45 mL/min
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8
Inlets
C20
These results were compared with a splitless analysis of the
same sample, which should produce 100% recovery of all
analytes. The data showed that, under these conditions,
compounds above C20 were completely recovered and that the
recovery was independent of injection size. Compounds lower
than C20 were partially vented with the solvent.
Possible adjustments
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you have a
number of possible adjustments available.
To eliminate more solvent
• Increase the vent end time, inlet initial time, and purge
time. This will not affect analytes that are quantitatively
trapped but will eliminate more of the solvent peak.
• Increase the vent flow to sweep the liner more rapidly
with the same inlet timing. Increasing vent flow raises
vent pressure if it is set to 0. This puts more solvent onto
the column.
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Inlets
• Raise the inlet initial temperature to vaporize more
solvent and allow more to be eliminated. This also
increases the loss of volatile analytes since their vapor
pressures also increase.
To improve recovery of low boiling analytes
• Reduce inlet temperature to lower the vapor pressure of
the analytes and trap them more effectively. This also
reduces solvent vapor pressure and more time will be
needed to eliminate it.
• Use a retentive packing in the liner. Materials such as
Tenax permit higher recovery of volatile analytes but may
not release higher boiling compounds. This must be
considered if quantitation on these high boiling peaks is
desired.
• Leave more solvent in the liner. The solvent acts as a
pseudo stationary phase and helps retain volatile
analytes. This must be balanced against the detector’s
tolerance for solvent.
An example—continued
The single injection example shown on the last few pages
makes it clear that a 10 μL injection does not overload the
glass wool packed liner. This means that multiple 10 μL
injections are possible.
It was decided to make 10 injections per run, each of 10 μL
size. This would increase analytical sensitivity substantially.
No adjustments were made to improve recovery of the low
boilers since the purpose of this analysis was to detect and
measure the high boiling components.
After timing a trial set of 10 injections, the total time for the
multiple injection set was measured to be approximately
1.3 minutes. The following timing changes were made:
Table 38
230
Modifications
Parameter
Increased from
To
Inlet Init time
0.3 minutes
1.6 minutes
Vent end time
0.2 minutes
1.5 minutes
Purge time
2.0 minutes
3.0 minutes
Oven Init time
2.5 minutes
3.0 minutes
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
8
The result is shown in the next figure. Note the difference in
the vertical scale (5000 versus 500).
C20
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8
Inlets
About the Packed Column Inlet
This inlet is also known as the purged packed inlet (PP). It
is used with packed columns when high- efficiency
separations are not required. It can also be used with
wide- bore capillary columns, if flows greater than
10 mL/min are acceptable.
If the columns are not defined (packed columns and
undefined capillary columns), the inlet is usually
flow- controlled. If capillary columns are used and the
columns in the flow path are defined, the inlet is normally
pressure- controlled but can be put into the flow control
mode.
The figure shows the inlet in the capillary column mode,
with the column defined and the flow controlled by
pressure.
232
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
FS
PS
PS
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
The next figure shows the flow diagram for the packed
column mode, with the column not defined the control is
based on total carrier gas flow.
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233
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Packed Column
Setting parameters
The inlet can operate in flow or pressure control mode. Flow
is recommended for packed columns. Pressure is
recommended for capillary columns.
Inlet in flow control mode
While in flow control mode, you cannot enter pressures here.
Mode Press [Mode/Type] to see the choices. You may select
an inlet mode of either Pressure control or Flow control. When
the Inlet control mode is Pressure control, the column control
mode can be set to Constant pressure, Ramped pressure, Constant
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8
Inlets
flow, or Ramped flow. The column control mode is set from the
Column parameters display. When the Inlet control mode is
Flow control, only column flow can be set on the Column
parameters display.
Temperature
The setpoint and actual temperature values.
Pressure The actual pressure (in psi, bar, or kPa) supplied
to the inlet. You cannot enter a setpoint here.
Total flow Enter your setpoint here, actual value is
displayed. Inlet is mass flow controlled.
Septum purge The setpoint and actual flow, in mL/min,
through the septum purge line, typically 1 to 5 mL/min
Inlet in pressure control mode
While in pressure control mode, you cannot enter flows here.
Mode Press [Mode/Type] to see the choices. You may select
an inlet mode of either Pressure control or Flow control. When
the Inlet control mode is Pressure control, the column control
mode can be set to Constant pressure, Ramped pressure, Constant
flow, or Ramped flow. The column control mode is set from the
Column parameters display. When the Inlet control mode is
Flow control, only column flow can be set on the Column
parameters display.
Temperature
the inlet.
The setpoint and actual temperature values of
Pressure Enter your setpoint here (in psi, bar, or kPa). The
actual value is displayed.
Total flow The actual total flow to the inlet. This is a
reported value, not a setpoint.
Septum purge The setpoint and actual flow, in mL/min,
through the septum purge line, typically 1 to 5 mL/min
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Inlets
About the Cool On-Column Inlet
This inlet introduces liquid sample directly onto a capillary
column. To do this, both the inlet and the oven must be cool
at injection, either at or below the boiling point of the
solvent.
Because the sample does not vaporize immediately in the
inlet, problems with sample discrimination and sample
alteration are minimized. If done properly, cool- on column
injection also provides accurate and precise results.
You can operate the inlet in track oven mode, where the
inlet temperature follows the column oven, or you can
program up to three temperature ramps. A cryogenic cooling
option that uses liquid CO2 or N2 from the oven cryogenic
system can reach sub- ambient temperatures.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
PS
Septum
Cool on Column
Inlet Weldment
Column Adapter
Ferrule
Column Nut
Column
PS = Pressure Sensor
236
Column
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8
Inlets
Setup modes of the COC inlet
The COC inlet hardware must be set up for one of three
usages, depending on the type of injection and column size.
• 0.25 mm or 0.32 mm automated on- column. Use
predrilled septa.
• 0.53 mm automatic on- column or retention gap
• 0.2 mm manual
To select the correct hardware for a column and injection
type, refer to Maintaining Your GC.
Retention gaps
Because the sample is injected directly onto the column, it is
strongly suggested that a retention gap—or guard column—be
used to protect your column. A retention gap is a
deactivated column that is connected between the inlet and
the analytical column. If you choose to use one, it is
suggested that at least 1 m of retention gap be installed per
1 μL of sample injected. Information on ordering retention
gaps can be found in the Agilent catalog for consumables and
supplies.
If you are using a retention gap and are operating with the
column defined, the length of the retention gap could affect the
calculations for flow and velocity through your column. If your
retention gap is the same inside diameter as your column, it is a
good idea to add the retention gap and column length before
entering the number on the Configure Column parameter list. If
the retention gap inside diameter is larger than your column, this
step may not be necessary.
COC inlet temperature control
CryoBlast (optional)
CryoBlast shortens the cycle time between runs. If you have
a CO2 or N2 cryogenic valve and the CryoBlast feature, you can
cool the inlet to –37 °C in either the track oven or temperature
program modes.
The CryoBlast accessory uses coolant from the oven
cryogenic system.
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8
Inlets
Track oven mode
In the Track oven mode, the inlet temperature stays 3 °C
higher than the oven temperature throughout the oven
program. You cannot enter a temperature setpoint—it is set
automatically. If you have CryoBlast, the inlet will track oven
temperatures to –40°C; without CryoBlast, the lower limit is
set by room temperature.
Temperature programming mode
In this mode, you can enter up to three temperature ramps
in the inlet parameter list so that the inlet and the oven
operate independently. This is the recommended mode if
operating below –20 °C.
At these very low oven temperatures, the inlet temperature
should be at least 20 °C higher than the oven temperature.
This will be more than adequate for solvent focusing.
At temperatures greater than ambient, the inlet should
always be at least 3 °C warmer than the oven for proper
control of the inlet temperature.
The oven temperature program controls the run. If it is
longer than the inlet temperature program, the inlet will
remain at its final temperature until the oven program (and
the run) ends.
Cryogenic considerations
When using track oven mode with a cryogenic oven, all other
inlets must be off or in track oven mode.
If cryo is turned on, and if the inlet is cooled during a run,
cryogen is used to achieve the setpoint. This may have a
negative impact on the chromatographic performance of the
oven and cause distorted peaks.
The inlet uses the same cryo coolant as configured for the
oven.
Setting COC inlet flows/pressures
1 Configure capillary column to inlet—select constant flow
or pressure.
238
2
Set column flow, linear velocity, or inlet pressure.
3
Set Septum Purge, typically 3 to 10 mL/min.
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8
Inlets
Setting COC inlet parameters
Track oven mode
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
2
Press [Mode/Type] and select Track oven.
There is no setpoint for Track oven mode.
Ramped temperature mode
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Press [Mode/Type] and select Ramped temp.
3
Enter a value for Temp. This is the starting temperature.
4
Enter an Init time. This is the length of time the inlet will
stay at the starting temperature after a run has begun.
5
Enter Rate 1. This is the rate at which the inlet will be
heated or cooled. A Rate of 0 halts further programming.
6
Enter Final temp 1. This is the inlet temperature at the end
of the first ramp.
7
Enter Final time 1. This is the number of minutes the inlet
holds Final temp 1.
8
To enter a second (or third) ramp, scroll to the
appropriate Rate line and repeat steps 5 through 7.
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Inlets
About the PTV Inlet
The Agilent Programmed Temperature Vaporization (PTV)
Inlet System has five operating modes:
• The split mode is generally used for major component
analyses.
• The pulsed split mode is like the split mode, but with a
pressure pulse applied to the inlet during sample
introduction to speed the transfer of material to the
column.
• The splitless mode is used for trace analyses.
• The pulsed splitless mode allows for a pressure pulse
during sample introduction.
• The solvent vent mode is used for large volume injection.
Either single or multiple injections can be made for each
run.
The PTV inlet can be used with both manual and automatic
injection.
For automatic multiple injections (large volume injections),
an Agilent GC or MSD ChemStation is required. This
function is not available under GC control alone. See “PTV
inlet solvent vent mode” on page 253.
PTV sampling heads
Two heads are available for the PTV inlet.
The septum head uses either a regular septum or a Merlin
Microseal™ to seal the syringe passage. A stream of gas
sweeps the inner side of the septum and exits through the
septum purge vent on the pneumatics module. It may be
used with either automatic or manual injection.
The septum head uses either standard 11 mm septa or (with
a different cap) a Merlin Microseal.
The septumless head uses a check valve instead of a septum
to seal the syringe entrance passage. It may be used with
either automatic or manual injection. This head is
recommended for subambient inlet operation.
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Inlets
Septum head
Septumless head
The flow diagrams in the rest of this document show the
septum head in place with a separate drawing for the
septumless head.
Heating the PTV inlet
The control parameters for PTV temperature programming
are the same as for the column oven, but are reached by
pressing [Front Inlet]. Temperature can be programmed with
an initial temperature and up to 3 rates and plateaus. Rates
between 0.1 and 720 °C/min can be selected. See “Setting
COC inlet parameters” on page 239 for details.
At the end of the run and during post- run, the PTV is held
at its final temperature. This permits backflushing without
contaminating the inlet.
CAUTION
If the initial inlet temperature and the oven initial temperature are
too close, the inlet may be unable to maintain its setpoint. We
recommend a difference of at least 6 °C, either higher or lower.
Additional temperature ramps
For most purposes, the PTV is designed to hold the sample
in the inlet liner until the entire sample—there could be
several injections—has been injected. Then the PTV is heated
rapidly to transfer the sample to the column. This can be
accomplished with an initial hold, a single ramp, and a hold
at the end to complete sample transfer.
Two additional ramps are available and have several possible
uses:
• The inlet can be heated to a high temperature to
thermally clean the liner for the next run.
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Inlets
• The inlet can be programmed downward—just set the
Final temp below the previous temperature—to reduce
thermal stress on the inlet.
• Downward programming can be used to prepare the inlet
for the next run. This can reduce cycle time for greater
sample throughput.
Cooling the PTV inlet
If cryo is turned on, and if the inlet is cooled during a run,
cryogen is used to achieve the setpoint. This may have a
negative impact on the chromatographic performance of the
oven and cause distorted peaks.
The sample may be injected into either a cooled or heated
inlet. The initial inlet temperature can be reduced to –60 °C
(with CO2 cooling) or to –160 °C (with liquid N2 cooling).
The inlet uses the same coolant as configured for the oven.
PTV inlet split and pulsed split modes
The two split modes—with or without a pressure
pulse—divide the gas stream entering the inlet between the
column flow, the split vent flow through the solenoid valve,
and the septum purge flow. The ratio of the split vent flow
to the column flow is called the split ratio.
The next figure shows the flows with the septum head.
Flows with the septumless head are the same except that the
septum purge flow bypasses the head.
242
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Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
PTV Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Cold split introduction
For cold split sample introduction, use an initial inlet
temperature below the normal boiling point of the solvent. If
the liner volume is enough to hold all the vaporized solvent,
start the first inlet temperature ramp at 0.1 minutes with a
high heating rate (500 °C/min or higher). The final
temperature should be high enough to volatilize the heaviest
analytes from the liner and should be held for at least
5 minutes. A final temperature of 350 °C for 5 minutes has
proven sufficient to quantitatively transfer C44.
For larger injection volumes or to eliminate the solvent, hold
the initial temperature long enough to vent the solvent
through the split vent and then begin the first ramp. Use a
fast rate for thermally stable analytes. Slower rates may help
minimize thermal degradation in the inlet.
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Inlets
A single temperature ramp is enough for the injection
process. The remaining ramps may be used to clean the liner
or to reduce the inlet temperature in preparation for the
next injection.
Hot split introduction
For hot split introduction, set an initial temperature high
enough to volatilize the analytes. No additional thermal
parameters are required as the inlet will maintain the
setpoint throughout the run.
Because of the small liner volume (about 120 microliters),
the PTV has a limited injection capacity with hot split
introduction. Injection volumes exceeding 1 μL in the hot
split mode may overflow the inlet causing analytical
problems. Cold split introduction avoids this potential
problem.
Setting parameters for split mode operation
Mode:
The current operating mode—split or pulsed split
Temperature
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures.
Initial temperature
Initial time
Rate #
Starting temperature for the inlet.
Hold time at the inlet initial temperature.
Temperature program rates for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temp #
Final inlet temperature for ramps 1, 2, and 3.
Final time #
Hold time at Final temp 1, 2, and 3.
Pressure Actual and setpoint inlet pressure. Controls
capillary column flow and linear velocity.
Split ratio The ratio of split flow to column flow. Column
flow is set in the column parameter list. This line does not
appear if a column in the flow path is not defined.
Split flow Flow, in mL/min, from the split/purge vent. This
line does not appear if a column in the flow path is not
defined.
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Total flow These are the actual and setpoint values of the
total flow into the inlet, which is the sum of the split flow,
column flow, and septum purge flow. When you change the total
flow, the split ratio and split flow change while the column flow
and pressure remain the same.
Septum Purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent.
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time.
Saver flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min.
Saver time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas.
If all columns in the flow path are defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Split or
Pulsed split.
3
Set the inlet temperature (Initial temperature) and any
desired ramps.
4
If you want a specific split ratio, scroll to Split ratio and
enter that number. The split flow will be calculated and
set for you.
5
If you want a specific split flow, scroll to Split flow and
enter that number. The split ratio will be calculated and
displayed for you.
6
If you selected Pulsed split, enter values for Pulsed pressure
(pressure at injection) and Pulse time (minutes after
injection to return to normal pressure).
7
If desired, turn on Gas saver. Set the Saver time after the
injection time.
8
Press [Prep Run] before manually injecting the sample if
the Gas Saver is on (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184).
If a column in the flow path is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Set the inlet temperature (Initial temperature) and any
desired ramps.
3
Set other parameters as described for a defined column.
4
Set Total flow into the inlet. Measure flows out of the split
vent and septum purge vent using a flow meter.
245
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Inlets
5
Subtract the septum purge flow and split vent flow from
Total flow to get column flow.
6
Calculate the split ratio (split vent flow/column flow).
Adjust as needed
PTV inlet splitless and pulsed splitless modes
In these modes—with or without a pressure pulse—the split
vent valve is closed during injection and vaporization of the
sample and stays so while the sample transfers to the
column.
At a specified time after injection, the valve opens to sweep
vapors left in the liner out the split vent. This avoids solvent
tailing due to the large inlet volume and small column flow
rate.
The figures show the flows with the septum head. Flows
with the septumless head are the same except that the
septum purge flow bypasses the head.
Stage 1. Sample injection
With the split vent valve closed, the sample and solvent
transfer to the column.
246
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
PTV Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Stage 2. Solvent purging
After the sample has transferred to the column, the split
vent valve opens to purge remaining solvent vapor from the
inlet.
Advanced User Guide
247
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
PTV Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Timelines
This figure summarizes the flow, pressure, and temperature
changes during a splitless mode analysis.
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Inlets
Split vent flow
Purge flow
Saver flow
Inlet is
pressure
controlled
Inlet pressure
8
Prep
Run
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Saver
Time
Stop
Run
Post
Time
Post pressure
Column mode = Constant flow
Inlet pressure
Inlet
temperature
Prep
Run
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Stop
Run
Post
Time
Final temp 1
Initial temperature
Prep
Run
Start
Run
Purge
Time
Cold splitless introduction
For cold splitless introduction, use an initial inlet
temperature below the normal boiling point of the solvent.
For most solvents, starting the first inlet temperature ramp
at 0.1 minutes provides good transfer and reproducibility. A
program rate of 500 °C/min or higher is appropriate for
thermally stable analytes. A final temperature of 350 °C,
held for 5 minutes, has quantitatively transferred up to C44
alkane.
A main advantage of temperature programmability is that
the inlet can be heated gently to transfer delicate analytes. If
the oven temperature is initially low enough to refocus the
analytes on the column, the inlet heating rate can be made
slower (e.g., 120 °C/min). This reduces thermal degradation
from the inlet and can improve peak shape and quantitation.
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For most applications of cold splitless, a single temperature
ramp is enough. The remaining ramps can be used to clean
the liner or to decrease the inlet temperature to prepare for
the next injection.
Hot splitless introduction
For hot splitless introduction, select an initial temperature
high enough to volatilize the analytes. No additional
temperature parameters are required as the inlet will
maintain the setpoint throughout the run.
Because of the small liner volume (about 120 μL), the PTV
cannot contain vapor resulting from large liquid injection
volumes. Injection volumes greater than 1 μL may overflow
vapor from the inlet, causing analysis variations. Cold
splitless introduction avoids this problem.
Starting values
A successful splitless injection consists of these steps:
1 Inject the sample and temperature program the inlet to
vaporize it.
2
Use a low column flow and low oven temperature to
create a solvent- saturated zone at the head of the
column.
3
Use this zone to trap and reconcentrate the sample at the
head of the column.
4
Wait until all, or at least most, of the sample has
transferred to the column. Then discard the remaining
vapor in the inlet—which is mostly solvent—by opening a
purge valve. This eliminates the long solvent tail that this
vapor would otherwise cause.
5
Raise the oven temperature to analyze the sample.
Some experimentation is needed to refine the operating
conditions. Table 39 provides starting values for the critical
parameters.
Table 39
250
Splitless mode inlet parameters
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven temperature
No cryo, ambient+10 °C to 450 °C 10 °C below solvent
CO2 cryo, –60 °C to 450 °C
boiling point
N2 cryo, –80 °C to 450 °C
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Inlets
Table 39
Splitless mode inlet parameters (continued)
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
≥ Inlet purge time
Inlet purge time
0 to 999.9 minutes
2 x Liner volume
Column flow
Gas saver time
0 to 999.9 minutes
After purge time
Gas saver flow
15 to 1000 mL/min
15 mL/min greater
than maximum column
flow
Inlet temperature
No cryo, oven temp + 10 °C
CO2 cryo, –50 °C to 450 °C
N2 cryo, –60 °C to 450 °C
10 °C below solvent
boiling point for 0.1min,
then ramp up
Setting parameters for the splitless modes
Mode: The current operating mode—Splitless or Pulsed
splitless.
Temperature
Initial time
Rate #
Actual and setpoint inlet temperatures.
Hold time at the initial inlet temperature.
Temperature program rates for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temp #
Final inlet temperature for ramps 1, 2, and 3.
Final time #
Hold time at Final temp 1, 2, and 3.
Pressure
kPa
Actual and setpoint inlet pressure in psi, bar, or
Pulsed pres The inlet pressure you desire at the beginning
of a run. The pressure rises to this setpoint after [Prep Run]
is pressed and remains constant until Pulse time elapses,
when it returns to Pressure.
Pulse time
time.
Pressure returns to its normal setpoint at this
Purge time The time, after the beginning of the run, when
you want the split vent valve to open.
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Inlets
Purge flow The flow, in mL/min, from the split vent, at
Purge time. You will not be able to specify this value if
operating with your column not defined.
Total flow The Total flow line displays the actual flow to the
inlet during a Pre- run (Pre- run light is on and not blinking)
and during a run before purge time. You cannot enter a setpoint
at these times. At all other times, Total flow will have both
setpoint and actual values.
Septum purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time
Server flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min
Server time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas
If the column is defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless or
Pulsed splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature and any desired ramps.
4
Enter a Purge time and a Purge flow.
5
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Make certain the time is set
after the Purge time.
6
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample. This is
automatic if an Agilent sampler is used.
If the column is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
252
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless or
Pulsed splitless.
3
Set the inlet temperature and any desired ramps.
4
Enter a Purge flow.
5
Enter the Purge time when you wish the split valve to
open.
6
Set Total flow greater than the column flow plus the
septum purge flow to guarantee adequate column flow.
7
Turn Gas saver on, if desired. Set the time after Purge time.
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Inlets
8
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample. This is
automatic if an Agilent sampler is used.
PTV inlet solvent vent mode
This mode is typically used for large volume injections. For
single injection use a 50 or 100 µL syringe with variable
plunger speed—slowly, 5 to 30 seconds.
The sample is injected into a cold inlet. If conditions are
properly chosen and the sample is suitable, analytes deposit
in the inlet liner while the solvent evaporates and is swept
out. Large or multiple injections can be used to concentrate
sample in the inlet before transferring to the column for
analysis.
The figure shows the flows with the septum head. Flows
with the septumless head are the same except that the
septum purge flow bypasses the head.
Stage 1. Sample and vent
During sampling and venting, the split valve is open. The
inlet is at Initial temperature, which is at or below the solvent
boiling point.
Solvent vapors are swept out the vent, while sample deposits
on the liner walls or packing.
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Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
PTV Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Stage 2.
Sample transfer
When solvent venting ends, the split valve vent closes and
the inlet heats to Final temperature 1. The sample transfers to
the capillary column during Purge delay time.
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Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Split Vent Trap
PTV Inlet Weldment
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Stage 3. Purge and cleanup
The split valve opens again and the system returns to the
Stage 1 configuration but with different setpoints. The PTV
inlet is flushed. Additional ramp rates are available to
thermally clean the inlet or to reduce inlet temperature after
sample transfer. This can extend the life of the liner.
Temperature, pressure, and flow considerations
The solvent vent mode goes through three distinct pneumatic
states; venting, sample transfer, and purging. The vent
portion allows the inlet pressure and the vent flow to be
adjusted to optimize solvent elimination. The transfer state
mimics traditional splitless operation and transports the
analytes from the liner to the column. The purging mode
allows the user to prepare the inlet for the next run.
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Inlets
A fundamental difficulty with solvent vent mode is the
potential loss of volatile analytes with the solvent. Several
solutions are possible for this situation:
• The inlet liner can be packed with a more retentive
material, such as Tenax. This greatly improves volatile
analyte recovery but may impact recovery of higher
boiling materials.
• Some of the solvent can be left in the liner when sample
transfer begins. The residual solvent acts like a stationary
phase and retains volatile material, but at the expense of
a larger solvent peak.
• The inlet temperature can be reduced. This reduces the
vapor pressure of the volatile analytes and permits higher
recoveries.
Solvent removal can be speeded up by:
• Reducing pressure in the inlet during sample
introduction—the Vent pressure parameter
• Increasing flow through the inlet—the Vent flow parameter
While all these possibilities do complicate use of the PTV,
they provide increased flexibility and new potential to solve
difficult problems.
Sequence of operations
These are the steps in a typical analysis using the solvent
vent mode:
Table 40
The solvent vent process
Step
1
Before injection
Parameter
Value
Flow at split vent
Either Purge flow or Saver flow
Inlet pressure
Derived from column setpoint
The system is resting, with Purge flow (or Saver flow, if on) through the inlet.
2
Prep Run begins
Flow at split vent
Vent flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Vent pressure setpoint
Setpoints change to prepare for injection. When GC is ready, the sample is injected. Inlet and oven
temperature program Init times begin. Solvent venting and analyte trapping begin.
3
At Vent end time
Flow at split vent
None, split valve closed
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Solvent venting ends, analyte transfer begins as inlet heats up.
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Table 40
The solvent vent process (continued)
Step
4
At Purge time
Parameter
Value
Flow at split vent
Purge flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Analyte transfer ends, inlet is purged of residual vapor. Analysis begins.
5
At Saver time
Flow at split vent
Saver flow setpoint
Inlet pressure
Column pressure setpoint
Analysis ends, carrier flow reduced to save gas (if Saver is on).
Some important points
• The flow through the column is governed by the pressure
in the inlet. This is controlled, during the analysis part of
the process, by the flow or pressure setpoint or program
entered for the column.
• The controlling times must be in the order shown; Vent
end time before Purge time and PTV temperature Initial time
before Saver time.
• Vent end time must occur before the inlet starts to heat
and release analytes.
• Purge time must occur before the oven begins to heat and
move sample through the column.
Timelines
Time increases downward; all other quantities increase to
the right.
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Inlets
Time
Oven temperature
Inlet temperature
Inlet pressure
Split vent flow
Controlled by column
flow or pressure setpoint
or program
Between runs
Prep Run
Start Run
Vent pressure
Saver or
Purge flow
Vent flow
Initial time
Vent end time
Rate 1
Inlet is
pressure
controlled
Initial time
Final temperature 1
Final time 1
Purge time
Rate 1
Other rates,
temperatures,
and times, if
desired
Controlled by
column flow or
pressure setpoint
or program
Purge flow
Final temperature 1
Final time 1
Saver time
Other rates,
temperatures,
and times, if
desired
Saver flow,
if on
When is Start Run?
Both the inlet and oven temperature programs begin at Start
Run. All times—such as Purge time—are measured from Start
Run. When does Start Run occur?
• If the sample is injected manually, Start Run occurs when
the user presses the [Start] key.
• If a single injection per run is made using an
autosampler, Start Run occurs when the syringe carrier
moves down to make the injection.
• If multiple injections per run are made using an
autosampler, Start Run occurs when the syringe carrier
moves down to make the first injection of the set. There
are no Start Run signals for the rest of the injections in
the set.
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These additional injections take time. The inlet and oven
temperature programs, mainly the Initial time values, must be
adjusted to allow for this. So must the various time values
that control the inlet operation. This is discussed in more
detail under “To develop a PTV method that uses large
volume injection” on page 261.
Setting parameters for solvent vent operation
Mode:
The current operating mode—solvent vent.
Temperature
Actual and setpoint initial inlet temperatures.
Initial time The time, measured from Start Run, when the
initial inlet temperature hold ends. Must be greater than Vent
end time.
Rate #
Temperature program rate for inlet thermal ramps.
Final temperature #
and 3.
Final inlet temperature for ramps 1, 2,
Final time # Hold time at Final temp #. This time is a
duration; it is not measured from Start Run.
Pressure Actual and setpoint inlet pressure before and after
the vent period. It sets the starting point of column head
pressure.
Vent pressure The inlet pressure during the vent period. By
decreasing the inlet pressure while venting, solvent
elimination proceeds faster. Also, the pressure reduction
decreases the amount of carrier gas—and solvent vapor—that
enters the column during this time.
Users select from 0 to 100 psig. If 0 is chosen, the inlet uses
the lowest pressure possible at the given vent flow. Table 41
shows approximate values for this minimum at various vent
flows of helium. Pressures less than those in the table are
not possible unless the flow is reduced.
Table 41
Advanced User Guide
Minimum attainable pressures
Vent flow (mL/min)
Actual vent pressure at
“0“ psig setpoint
Actual vent pressure at
“0” kPa setpoint
50
0.7
5
100
1.3
10
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Table 41
Minimum attainable pressures
Vent flow (mL/min)
Actual vent pressure at
“0“ psig setpoint
Actual vent pressure at
“0” kPa setpoint
200
2.6
18
500
6.4
44
1000
12.7
88
Vent flow The flow of carrier gas out the split vent during
the vent period. Higher flows sweep the liner more quickly
and reduce the time for solvent elimination. For most
columns, 100 mL/min vent flow eliminates solvent at an
acceptable rate but puts minimal material on the column.
Vent end time The time, measured from Start Run, when
solvent venting ends. For large volume injections, this time is
normally greater than the time for the injection to complete.
Purge time The time, measured from Start Run, when
sample transfer ends. It began at Vent end time.
Purge flow The flow of carrier gas to the inlet beginning at
Purge time.
Total flow
The actual flow into the inlet.
Septum Purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time
Saver flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min
Saver time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas
If the column is defined
1 Press [Front Inlet].
260
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Solvent vent.
3
Enter a Vent pressure, a Vent flow, and a Vent end time.
4
Set the inlet temperature and ramps, as desired.
5
Enter a Purge time and a Purge flow.
6
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Make certain the time is set
after the Purge time.
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Inlets
7
Press [Prep Run] (see “Pre Run and Prep Run” on
page 184) before manually injecting a sample.
If the column is not defined
1 Set up the parameters as described for the defined
column case.
2
Set Total flow greater than the column flow plus the
septum purge flow to guarantee adequate column flow.
To develop a PTV method that uses large volume injection
This topic provides a recommended way to change from a
splitless injection using a split/splitless inlet to a solvent
vent mode injection using a programmable temperature
vaporization inlet (PTV). It applies mainly to large volume
injections (LVI) using a PTV, but the concepts can apply to
general PTV use. This topic does not consider all items that
can impact an analysis, for example the liner, solvent,
analyte boiling points, or polarity. This topic also assumes
knowledge of your data system—when to save a method, how
to start a run, how to set up a single run, etc.
The main advantage of the PTV inlet's solvent vent mode is
that you can inject slowly into the inlet, allowing large
amounts of solvent to evaporate in the liner (not in the split
vent line). This concentrates the analytes prior to injection.
It requires an injector with variable speed injections, a
“large” syringe, and knowledge of the sample and the
solvent.
When developing a solvent vent method, the goal is to
determine the injection rates and temperatures needed to
evaporate the solvent at the rate it enters the inlet. The
development technique is to gradually scale up to an
injection amount that produces a useful response. The most
significant parameters are:
Temperature Hold the inlet temperature at or slightly below
the solvent boiling point until after all the sample has been
injected. This is important so that you do not boil away
more volatile analytes, or boil away the solvent in the needle
and trap your analytes there. An additional point to consider
is that the boiling point of the earliest eluting analyte should
be 100 °C less than the boiling point of the solvent.
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Injection speed Estimate the evaporation rate of solvent
exiting the needle based on solvent type, inlet temperature,
vent flow, and pressure. Start with about half that number.
Note that you have to make sure that you configure the
syringe properly. If not, you will over- or under- load the
inlet.
Vent end time The vent end time setpoint must be greater
than the time the needle spends in the inlet. If the vent time
is too short, you will overload and contaminate the column
and inlet. Adjust the vent time as you scale up the method.
If using a PTV with an MSD, another tip for method
development is to scan for solvent ions. Detecting the solvent
ions can be useful in troubleshooting residual solvent bleed
onto the column.
To develop a PTV method for large volume injection, try the
following:
1 Determine a small injection volume that works on a
split/splitless inlet in splitless mode or the PTV in
splitless mode. Choose a volume that does not currently
overload the inlet.
2
Start with a 5–10 uL syringe and make sure the syringe
is properly configured in the instrument and data system.
3
Make sure the column is configured.
4
Set up the inlet to perform a 1 uL injection.
Use the splitless method conditions, except:
• Start with the inlet temperature cold, near but slightly
below the solvent boiling point. For example, if using
methylene chloride (boiling point 39 °C), start with a
temperature of 30–39 °C.
• Use Splitless mode.
• Ramp to the normal splitless inlet temperature.
5
Note the response achieved.
6
Next, change the inlet mode to Solvent vent.
7
Check the injector timings.
a Install an empty sample vial in the injector turret or
tray.
b Input the injection rate (Sample Draw Speed, Sample Disp
Speed, and Inject Dispense Speed rates) for the injector
and increase the injection volume to 5 uL.
c Enter draft Solvent vent parameters:
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• Set a Vent flow of 100 mL/min as a starting point.
• Keep the inlet isothermal for now.
• Enter a Vent pressure of 0 psi (0 kPa) and Vent end
time of 0.1 minutes.
d Make an injection using the empty vial. Use a
stopwatch or your GC's timer feature to time how long
the needle is in the inlet.
8
Enter revised Solvent vent mode parameters.
• Set the method's Vent end time to be about 0.05 min
longer than the time the needle spends in the inlet.
• Set the inlet temperature Initial time to be about 0.05
min longer than the Vent pressure time.
• Program the inlet to ramp quickly to the injection
temperature. Make sure the ramp starts after the Vent
end time.
• Set the Purge Flow to 30 mL/min. Set the purge time to
be the vent pressure Vent end time + 1 minute.
9
Make a 5 uL injection of your standard. You should see 5
times the response.
If the response of all analytes is too low:
• The dispense speed is too fast. Liquid was injected into
the inlet and pushed out the vent.
• The vent time is too long. The inlet started to heat
while the vent was open.
If the response of early eluters is too low:
• The inlet temperature is too high.
• The Vent flow is too high.
If the response of late eluters is too low:
• The purge time is too short.
• The final inlet temperature is too low.
10 If you need more injection volume and the 5 uL worked
to give 5 times the response, change the syringe to a
larger one, for example, 50 uL.
11 Set up the data system to perform a 25 uL injection.
12 Configure the syringe. Make sure the plunger speeds on
the injector are still set properly.
13 Recheck the injector timings. See the step above.
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14 Set a new vent time and initial inlet temperature time
based on the new time the needle spends in the syringe.
15 Make a 25 uL injection of your standard. Again, you
should see 5 times the response. If not, see step 13.
16 If you need more response, repeat steps 10 through 15 to
increase to larger volume. See the next section. Try
performing 5 x 5 uL injections, then 5 x 50 uL injections.
Multiple injections with the PTV inlet
The preferred technique for concentrating analytes in the
inlet liner is to use a single, large volume injection. Using a
high capacity syringe and one septum puncture reduces the
possibility of contamination and generally improves results
when compared against a multiple septum puncture
technique. However, if needed, you can perform multiple
septum punctures during the vent time. This technique
requires an Agilent data system and automatic liquid
sampler.
Data system requirements
An Agilent data system is necessary for multiple injection
because the needed parameters are not available through the
GC keyboard.
GC ChemStation
MSD ChemStation
EZChrom
Software revision B.04.01 SP1 or later.
Software revision E.02.00 SP2 or later
Software revision 3.3.2 or later
Setting parameters for the inlet in solvent vent mode
Set or configure the following parameters in the data
system's 7890A GC method editor.
Syringe size — Verify the syringe size is configured correctly.
The configured syringe size changes the available choices for
injection volume.
Injection volume — Select the injection volume, then enter a
number of injections. The total injection volume will be
displayed.
Multiple Injection Delay — A pause time, in seconds,
between injections. This is added to the minimum hardware
cycle time.
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Preinjection washes and pumps are performed only before
the first injection of a multiple injection set.
Postinjection washes are performed only after the last
injection in a multiple injection set.
An example
These values were used for a sample with a broad range of
boiling points.
Table 42
Name
Value
Sample
C10 to C44 hydrocarbons in hexane
Mode
Solvent vent
MMI liner
Glass wool packed
Injection volume
One 10.0 μL injection (25 μL syringe)
Injection speed
Fast
Column
30 m x 320 μm x 0.25 μm -5, part
number 19091J-413
Column flow
4 mL/min constant flow
Table 43
Inlet parameters
Name
Value
Name
Initial temp
40 °C
Rate 2 (off)
Initial time
0.3 min
Pressure
15.6 psig
Rate 1
720 °C/min
Vent pressure
0.0 psig
Final temp 1
450 °C
Vent flow
100 mL/min
Final time 1
5 min
Vent end time
0.2 min
Rate 2
100 °C/min
Purge time
2.0 min
Final temp 2
250 °C
Purge flow
50 mL/min
Final time 2
0 min
Table 44
Advanced User Guide
General parameters
Value
Oven parameters
Name
Value
Initial temp
40 °C
Initial time
2.5 min
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Table 44
Oven parameters
Name
Value
Rate 1
25 °C/min
Final temp 1
320 °C
Final time 1
10.0 min
Rate 2 (off)
Table 45
266
Detector parameters
Name
Value
Detector
FID
Detector temp
400 °C
Hydrogen flow
40 mL/min
Air flow
450 mL/min
Makeup (N2)
45 mL/min
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Inlets
C20
These results were compared with a splitless analysis of the
same sample, which should produce 100% recovery of all
analytes. The data showed that, under these conditions,
compounds above C20 were completely recovered and that the
recovery was independent of injection size. Compounds lower
than C20 were partially vented with the solvent.
Possible adjustments
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you have a
number of possible adjustments available.
To eliminate more solvent
• Increase the vent end time, inlet initial time, and purge
time. This will not affect analytes that are quantitatively
trapped but will eliminate more of the solvent peak.
• Increase the vent flow to sweep the liner more rapidly
with the same inlet timing. Increasing vent flow raises
vent pressure if it is set to 0. This puts more solvent onto
the column.
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Inlets
• Raise the inlet initial temperature to vaporize more
solvent and allow more to be eliminated. This also
increases the loss of volatile analytes since their vapor
pressures also increase.
To improve recovery of low boiling analytes
• Reduce inlet temperature to lower the vapor pressure of
the analytes and trap them more effectively. This also
reduces solvent vapor pressure and more time will be
needed to eliminate it.
• Use a retentive packing in the liner. Materials such as
Tenax permit higher recovery of volatile analytes but may
not release higher boiling compounds. This must be
considered if quantitation on these high boiling peaks is
desired.
• Leave more solvent in the liner. The solvent acts as a
pseudo stationary phase and helps retain volatile
analytes. This must be balanced against the detector’s
tolerance for solvent.
An example—continued
The single injection example shown on the last few pages
makes it clear that a 10 μL injection does not overload the
glass wool packed liner. This means that multiple 10 μL
injections are possible.
It was decided to make 10 injections per run, each of 10 μL
size. This would increase analytical sensitivity substantially.
No adjustments were made to improve recovery of the low
boilers since the purpose of this analysis was to detect and
measure the high boiling components.
After timing a trial set of 10 injections, the total time for the
multiple injection set was measured to be approximately
1.3 minutes. The following timing changes were made:
Table 46
268
Modifications
Parameter
Increased from
To
Inlet Init time
0.3 minutes
1.6 minutes
Vent end time
0.2 minutes
1.5 minutes
Purge time
2.0 minutes
3.0 minutes
Oven Init time
2.5 minutes
3.0 minutes
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8
The result is shown in the next figure. Note the difference in
the vertical scale (5000 versus 500).
C20
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Inlets
About the Volatiles Interface
The volatiles interface provides a simple, reliable way to
introduce a gas sample into your GC from an external device
such as a headspace, purge and trap, or air toxic sampler.
Manual syringe injections cannot be made with this
interface. The interface has a small volume and is highly
inert, ensuring high sensitivity and resolution for
applications requiring trace level detection.
The figure shows the pneumatics in the split mode.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
Split Vent Trap
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Total flow to the interface is measured by a flow sensor and
is divided into two streams. One stream connects to the
septum purge regulator; the other connects to a frit block. At
the frit block, the flow is further divided. The first stream
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Inlets
goes to the gas- phase sampler and from there is introduced
into the interface. The second stream, called the pressure
sensing line, passes through the frit block and is measured
by a pressure sensor. This stream also provides a trickle
flow to the interface.
VI operating modes
There are three modes of operation—split, splitless, and
direct. The pneumatics differ for each operating mode and
are discussed in detail in the rest of this document.
Table 47 summarize some issues to consider when choosing
an operating mode. Specifications for the interface are also
listed.
Table 47
Overview of the volatiles interface
Mode
Sample
concentration
Sample to
column
Split
High
Very little, most is
vented
Splitless
Low
All
Can switch to split
mode electronically.
Direct
Low
All
Must physically
disconnect split vent,
plug the interface, and
reconfigure the GC.
Maximizes sample
recovery and eliminates
possibility of
contamination to
pneumatic system.
Table 48
Specifications of the volatiles interface
Specification
Comments
Value/Comment
Deactivated flow path
Advanced User Guide
Volume
32 µL
Internal dimensions
2 mm by 10 mm
Maximum flow to interface
100 mL/min
Split range
Depends on column flow
Typically no split to 100:1
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Table 48
Specifications of the volatiles interface (continued)
Specification
Value/Comment
Temperature range
10 °C above ambient (with oven at
ambient) to 400 °C
Recommended temperature:
≥ transfer line temperature of the
external sampling device
About the VI split mode
When you introduce a sample in the split mode, a small
amount of the sample enters the column while the major
portion exits from the split vent. The ratio of split flow to
column flow is controlled by the user. The split mode is
primarily used for high concentration samples when you can
afford to lose most of the sample out the split vent and for
samples that cannot be diluted.
Split ratio
Because of the interface’s small internal volume, the
maximum total flow to the interface is 100 mL/min. This
maximum flow puts some restriction on the split ratio you
can set.
Table 49
Maximum split ratios
Column diameter
(mm)
Column flow
(mL/min)
Maximum split
ratio
Total flow
(mL/min)
0.20
1
100:1
100
0.53
5
20:1
100
Split mode pneumatics
During Pre Run, during sampling, and after sampling, total
flow to the interface is measured by a flow sensor and
controlled by a proportional valve. Flow at the head of the
column is back- pressure regulated. Pressure is sensed
upstream from the proportional valve.
272
Advanced User Guide
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
8
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
Split Vent Trap
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
Setpoint dependencies
Some setpoints are interdependent. If you change one
setpoint, other setpoints may change to compensate. With a
defined capillary column, setting column flow or linear
velocity will set the inlet pressure.
Table 50
Setpoint dependencies
When you change
Pressure
Advanced User Guide
These setpoints change
Column defined
Column not defined
Column flow*
Split flow
Total flow
No changes
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Table 50
Setpoint dependencies (continued)
When you change
These setpoints change
Column defined
Column not defined
Column flow*
Pressure
Split flow
Total flow
not available
Split flow
Split ratio
Total flow
not available
Split ratio
Split flow
Total flow
not available
Total flow
Split flow
Split ratio
No changes
* This setpoint appears in [Col 1] or [Col 2].
Initial values
Use the information in Table 51 to help you set up the
operating conditions for your interface.
Table 51
Suggested starting values
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
After sample on column
Interface temperature
Ambient + 10 °C to 400 °C ≥ Transfer line
temperature
Gas saver time
0 to 999.9 minutes
After sample on column
Gas saver flow
15 to 100 mL/min
15 mL/min greater than
maximum column flow
Setting parameters for the split mode
Mode:
The current operating mode—split
Temperature
Actual and setpoint interface temperatures
Pressure Actual and setpoint interface pressure. Controls
capillary column flow.
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Inlets
Split ratio The ratio of split flow to column flow. Column
flow is set using [Col 1] or [Col 2]. This parameter is not
available if your column is not defined.
Split flow Flow, in mL/min, from the split vent. This
parameter is not available if your column is not defined.
Total flow
actual
The total flow into the interface, both setpoint and
Septum Purge
Gas saver
Flow through the septum purge vent
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time
Saver flow
Reduced split vent flow, at least 15 mL/min.
Saver time
Time when flow is reduced to save gas
If the column is defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Split.
3
Set the interface temperature.
4
If you want a specific split ratio, scroll to Split ratio and
enter that number. The split flow will be calculated and
set for you.
5
If you want a specific split flow, scroll to Split flow and
enter that number. The split ratio will be calculated and
set for you.
6
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Set Saver time after the
sample has been introduced.
7
If Gas saver is on, be certain Auto prep run is On (see “Pre
Run and Prep Run” on page 184) or press [Prep Run]
before introducing the sample.
If the column is not defined
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Split.
3
Set the interface temperature.
4
Set Total flow into the interface. Measure flow out of the
split vent using a flow meter.
5
Subtract the split vent flow from Total flow. Subtract the
septum purge flow from the result to get column flow.
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8
Inlets
6
Calculate the split ratio (split vent flow/column flow).
Adjust as needed.
7
If desired, turn Gas saver on. Set Saver time after the
sample has been introduced.
8
If Gas saver is on, be certain Auto prep run is On (see “Pre
Run and Prep Run” on page 184) or press [Prep Run]
before introducing the sample.
About the VI splitless mode
This mode is used to concentrate sample at the head of the
GC column during desorb. Purge timing delay must take into
consideration the volume of the loop or trap in the external
sampler plus the transfer line versus desorb/total flow rate.
Cryo focussing is required for very volatile samples in
splitless mode.
When you introduce a sample, the split valve remains closed
while the sample enters the interface and is transferred to
the column. At a specified time after the sample is
introduced, the split valve opens.
Splitless mode pneumatics
Before Pre Run When the GC is preparing for sample
introduction, total flow to the interface is measured by a
flow sensor and controlled by a proportional valve. Column
flow is controlled via back- pressure regulation. The split
valve is open.
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Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
Split Vent Trap
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
During sampling Pressure upsets caused by switching valves
and trap restrictions in the external sampling device can
cause fluctuations in column flow rates. To compensate for
this, the interface is flow controlled during sampling time.
The sampling flow rate is calculated from the pressure
setpoint that is active when sample introduction begins. This
flow control starts when the GC goes into the Pre Run state
(when your system is automated and the Pre Run light is on
or during manual operation when you press [Prep Run]) and
ends after the interface’s Sampling end setpoint expires.
Sampling end is required for purge and trap or thermal
desorption systems and should be set ≥ the sampler desorb
time.
Advanced User Guide
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8
Inlets
During this user- specified sampling period, the solenoid
valve is closed. Flow to the interface is measured by a flow
sensor and controlled by a proportional valve.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Split
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
Split Vent Trap
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
After sampling end The solenoid valve opens. The system
returns to the Before Prep Run state. Flow to the interface is
again measured by a flow sensor and controlled by a
proportional valve while column flow is controlled via
back- pressure regulation. The purge flow is controlled by the
user. If desired, gas saver can be turned on at the end of the
run.
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8
Inlets
Setpoint dependencies
Some setpoints in the flow system are interdependent. If you
change one setpoint, other setpoints may change to
compensate.
Table 52
Setpoint dependencies
When you change
These setpoints change
Column defined
Purging
Column not defined
You can change the
Pressure and Total flow
setpoints; other
setpoints are not
affected.
Purge flow
Total flow**
Pressure
Total flow**
Column flow*
Column flow*
Pressure
Total flow**
Before and after sampling, not purging
Pressure
Column flow*
Total flow**
Column flow*
Pressure
Total flow**
You can change the
Pressure setpoint; other
setpoints are not
affected.
During sampling:
You cannot change pressure and flow setpoints during sampling time.
* This setpoint appears in the column parameters.
**This value is actual only.
Initial values
The table shows recommended starting values for selected
parameters.
Advanced User Guide
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8
Inlets
Table 53
Suggested starting values
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
≥ Interface purge time
Interface temperature
Ambient + 10 °C to 400 °C ≥ Transfer line
temperature
Interface sampling end
0 to 999.9 minutes
Interface purge time
0 to 999.9 minutes
Gas saver time
0 to 999.9 minutes
Must be after purge time
Gas saver flow
15 to 100 mL/min
15 mL/min greater than
maximum column flow
0.2 minutes longer than
introduction time
Setting parameters for the VI splitless mode
Mode:
The current operating mode—splitless
Temperature Actual and setpoint interface temperatures.
Column temperature must be low enough to cold trap the
volatile sample. Cryo focussing is recommended.
Sampling end The sample introduction interval, in minutes.
The flow rate is calculated from the pressure setpoint that is
active at the start of sample introduction.
Set the sampling end setpoint 0.2 minutes longer than the
time the sampler needs to introduce the sample. For
example, the 7694 headspace sampler has an Inject time
parameter which controls how long the valve remains in the
inject position. If Inject time is 1 minute, the sampling end
setpoint should be set to 1.2 minutes. If you’re using an
7695 Purge and Trap Concentrator, set Sampling end
0.2 minutes longer than the Desorb time parameter.
If your column is defined and you specify a flow or pressure
program for your column, the ramp does not begin until
after the sampling end setpoint expires.
Pressure
or kPa.
Actual and setpoint interface pressure in psi, bar,
Purge time The time, after the beginning of the run, when
purging resumes. Purge time must be greater than Sampl’g end.
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Inlets
Purge flow The flow, in mL/min, from the split vent at Purge
time. You will not be able to access or specify this value if
your column is not defined.
Total flow When your column is defined, Total flow displays
the actual flow to the interface. You cannot enter a setpoint.
If your column is not defined, Total flow will have both
setpoint and actual values during purge time. All other
times, the actual flow to the interface is displayed.
Septum Purge
15 mL/min.
Gas saver
Saver flow
Flow through the septum purge vent, at least
On to reduce split vent flow at Saver time.
Flow through the split vent after Saver time.
These instructions apply to both column defined and not
defined.
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode: and press [Mode/Type]. Select Splitless.
3
Set the interface temperature and a sampling end time.
4
If your column is defined, enter a Purge time and Purge
flow. Turn Gas saver on if desired. Set the Gas saver time
after the purge time and enter a Gas saver flow.
5
If your column is not defined, enter a Purge time (Purge
flow is not available). Set Total flow greater than column
flow plus septum purge flow to guarantee adequate
column flow.
6
Make certain Auto Prep Run is On (see “Pre Run and Prep
Run” on page 184) or press [Prep Run] before introducing
a sample.
About the VI direct mode
Direct sample introduction permits a quantitative transfer of
analyte without risking contamination to the pneumatic
system. It provides the sensitivity required for air toxic
analyses. The interface’s minimal dead volume also
eliminates the potential interaction of solutes with poorly
swept, active surfaces.
To operate in the direct mode, you must physically
disconnect the split vent and reconfigure the GC.
Advanced User Guide
281
8
Inlets
Before Pre Run
The interface is forward pressure controlled; pressure is
sensed downstream from the flow proportional valve.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
During sampling
Pressure upsets caused by switching valves in the external
sampler can cause fluctuations in column flow rates. To
compensate for this, the interface is flow controlled during
sampling time. The sampling flow rate is calculated from the
pressure setpoint that is active when sample introduction
begins. This flow control starts when the GC goes into the
Pre Run state (when your system is automated and the Pre
Run light is on or during manual operation when you press
[Prep Run]) and ends after the interface’s Sampling end
setpoint expires.
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Advanced User Guide
Inlets
8
Flow to the interface is measured by a flow sensor and
controlled by a proportional valve.
Carrier Supply
80 PSI
Septum Purge
EPC Module
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
PS
FS
PS
Frit
Gas Sampling Valve
Headspace
Purge and Trap
Column
FS = Flow Sensor
PS = Pressure Sensor
After sampling end
The interface is forward pressure controlled; pressure is
sensed downstream from the proportional valve. The system
returns to the idle state.
Advanced User Guide
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Preparing the Interface for Direct Sample Introduction
Before you can operate your interface in direct mode, you
must:
• Disconnect the split vent line
• Configure the GC for a direct injection
Disconnecting the split vent line
WA R N I N G
Be careful! The interface may be hot enough to cause burns.
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet]. Turn off the interface
temperature and pressure and allow the interface to cool.
284
2
If desired, remove the transfer line by loosening the hex
nut with a wrench.
3
Remove the clamping plate from the interface by
loosening the captive screw with a screwdriver. Put the
plate in a safe place.
4
Carefully lift the interface out of the heater block.
Advanced User Guide
8
Inlets
Advanced User Guide
5
Loosen the hex nut connecting the split vent line to the
interface until you can remove the line. Put the line
aside. You do not need to plug it.
6
Install a blanking nut into the split line port and
finger- tighten the nut. Tighten the nut an additional
1/4- turn using two wrenches in opposition.
7
Place the interface in the heater block. Replace the
clamping plate you removed earlier and tighten the screw
until snug. Do not overtighten. If you removed the
transfer line, replace it.
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Inlets
8
Restore the GC to normal operating conditions. Perform a
leak test on the interface fittings.
Configuring the GC for a direct injection
The GC cannot sense the presence of the split vent. When
you disconnect or reconnect the vent, you must configure
the GC so that the pneumatics work properly.
1 Press [Config][Back Inlet] or [Config][Front Inlet].
2
Scroll to Mode and press [Mode/Type].
3
Select Split vent removed. Press [Enter].
4
Press [Back Inlet] or [Front Inlet]. If the inlet is correctly
configured, you will see the Direct injection display.
VI direct mode setpoint dependencies
Some setpoints in the flow system are interdependent. If you
change one setpoint, other setpoints may change to
compensate.
Table 54
Setpoint changes
When you change
These setpoints change
Column defined
Before and after
sampling
Column not defined
The Column flow*
setpoint is not available.
Pressure
Column flow*
Total flow**
Column flow*
Pressure
Total flow**
During sampling
You cannot change pressure and flow setpoints
during sampling time.
You can change the
pressure setpoint; other
setpoints are not
affected.
* This setpoint appears in the column parameters
.**This value is actual only
VI direct mode initial values
Use the information in Table 55 to help you set up the
operating conditions for your interface.
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8
Inlets
Table 55
Suggested starting values
Parameter
Allowed setpoint range
Suggested starting
value
Oven initial time
0 to 999.9 minutes
≥ interface sampling end
Interface temperature
Ambient + 10 °C to
400 °C
≥ transfer line
temperature
Interface sampling end
0 to 999.9 minutes
0.2 minutes longer than
actual sampling time
Setting parameters for the VI direct mode
Temperature
Actual and setpoint interface temperatures
Sampling end The sample introduction interval, in minutes.
The flow rate is calculated from the pressure setpoint that is
active at the start of sample introduction.
Set Sampling end 0.2 minutes longer than the time the
sampler needs to introduce the sample. For example,
the 7694 headspace sampler has an Inject time parameter
which controls how long the valve remains in the inject
position. If Inject time is 1 minute, Sampling end should be set
to 1.2 minutes. If you’re using a 7695 Purge and Trap
Concentrator, set Sampling end 0.2 minutes longer than the
Desorb time parameter.
If your column is defined and you specify a flow or pressure
program for your column, the ramp does not begin until
after Sampling end expires.
Pressure Actual and setpoint interface pressure before a
run and after sampling time.
Total flow The actual flow to the interface. This is a
reported value, not a setpoint.
Septum Purge Flow through the septum purge vent, range 0
to 30 mL/min.
These instructions apply to both column defined and column
not defined.
1 Press [Front Inlet] or [Back Inlet].
Advanced User Guide
2
Confirm that your GC is configured for direct injection.
3
Set the interface temperature.
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8
288
Inlets
4
Set Sampling end at 0.2 minutes longer than the sample
introduction time.
5
Make certain Auto Prep Run is On (see “Pre Run and Prep
Run” on page 184) or press [Prep Run] before introducing a
sample.
Advanced User Guide
Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
9
Columns and Oven
About the Oven 290
Oven safety 290
Configuring the Oven 291
Cryogenic Operation 292
Cryogenic setpoints 292
About Oven Temperature Programming 294
Programming setpoints 294
Oven ramp rates 295
Setting the oven parameters for constant temperature 296
Setting the oven parameters for ramped temperature 296
About the Oven Insert 298
Selecting the correct packed glass column type 299
About the column modes 299
Select a column mode 300
Setting the column parameters for constant flow or constant
pressure 301
Enter a flow or pressure program (optional) 301
Programming column pressure or flow 302
About Columns 299
Backflushing a Column 303
Backflushing when connected to an MSD 304
Nickel Catalyst Tube 309
About the nickel catalyst tube 309
Nickel catalyst gas flows 309
Setting temperatures for the nickel catalyst tube 310
Agilent Technologies
289
9
Columns and Oven
About the Oven
Table 56
Oven capabilities
Capability
Range
Temperature range
–80 °C (liquid N2) or –40 °C (CO2) to
the configured limit
Maximum temperature
450 °C
Temperature programming
Up to six ramps
Maximum run time
999.99 minutes
Temperature ramp rates
0 to 120 °C/min, depending on
instrument configuration
Oven safety
For safety, opening the oven door turns off power to the
oven heater, fan, and cryogenic valve (if installed) but
maintains the setpoints in memory.
Closing the oven door returns the oven to normal operation.
If the oven cannot attain or maintain an entered setpoint
temperature during normal above- ambient operation, a
problem is assumed and the oven is switched off.
Possible problems include:
• The oven vent flaps not working
• The oven fan, heater, or temperature sensor not working
properly
• An electronic problem
When a shutdown occurs, the Off line in the oven parameter
list blinks and the oven remains off until switched on again
by pressing [Oven][On] or by editing the Temperature setpoint.
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Columns and Oven
9
Configuring the Oven
Oven configuration sets maximum temperature, equilibration
time the cool down mode, and the cryogenic setpoints, if
cryo is installed.
Maximum temperature Maximum allowable oven temperature
setpoint. Some accessories, such as the valve box, valves and
columns have specific temperature limits. When configuring
Maximum temperature, these limits should be considered so
that the accessories are not damaged. Oven setpoints are
verified as they are entered; a message is displayed when an
entered setpoint is inconsistent with a previously defined
maximum.
Equilibration time The time required for the oven
temperature to equilibrate after temperature is modified.
Equilibration time begins when the actual oven temperature
comes within 1 °C of the oven temperature setting. The
Equilibration time setpoint can be 0 to 999.99 minutes.
Cryo
See “Cryogenic Operation.
External oven mode
Press the GC [Info] key for details.
Slow oven cool down mode During the oven cooling period,
the fan can operate at full speed or at a reduced speed. This
parameter makes the choice.
Advanced User Guide
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9
Columns and Oven
Cryogenic Operation
The cryogenic valve lets you operate the oven below ambient
temperature. Minimum attainable oven temperature depends
on the type of valve installed.
The GC senses the presence and type of cryogenic valve and
disallows setpoints if no valve is installed. When cryogenic
cooling is not needed or cryogenic coolant is not available,
the cryogenic operation should be turned off. If this is not
done, proper oven temperature control may not be possible,
particularly at temperatures near ambient.
Cryogenic setpoints
Equilibration time
Cryo
Set from 0 to 999.999 minutes.
[ON] enables cryogenic cooling, [OFF] disables it.
Quick cryo cool This is separate from Cryo. Quick cryo cool
cools the oven faster after a run than it would without
assistance. This is useful when maximum sample throughput
is necessary, however it does use more coolant. Quick cryo cool
turns off soon after the oven reaches its setpoint and Cryo
takes over, if needed.
Ambient temp The temperature in the laboratory. This
setpoint determines the temperature at which cryogenic
cooling is enabled.
• Ambient temp + 25 °C, for regular cryo operation
• Ambient temp + 45 °C, for Quick Cryo Cool.
Cryo timeout Cryo timeout occurs, and the oven shuts off,
when a run does not start within a specified time (10 to
120 minutes) after the oven equilibrates. Turning cryo
timeout Off disables this feature. We recommend that it be
turned On because cryo timeout conserves coolant at the end
of a sequence or if automation fails.
Cryo fault Shuts the oven down if it does not reach setpoint
temperature after 16 minutes of continuous cryo operation.
Note that this is the time to reach the setpoint, not the time
to stabilize and become ready at the setpoint. For example,
with a cool on- column inlet and cryo control in the track
oven mode, it may take the oven 20 to 30 minutes to achieve
readiness.
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Columns and Oven
9
If the temperature goes below the minimum allowed
temperature (–90 °C for liquid nitrogen, –70 °C for liquid
CO2), the oven will shut down.
External oven mode Isothermal internal mode and
programmed external oven used to calculate column flow.
Slow oven cool down mode
during cool down.
Advanced User Guide
On to run oven fan at slow speed
293
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Columns and Oven
About Oven Temperature Programming
You can program the oven temperature from an initial
temperature to a final temperature using up to 20 ramps
during a run.
A single ramp temperature program raises the initial oven
temperature to a specified final temperature at a specified
rate and holds at the final temperature for a specified
period of time.
Final temperature 1
Final time 1
Rate 1
Rate 2 = 0
Initial time 1
Initial temperature
The multiple- ramp temperature program is similar. You can
program the oven from an initial temperature to a final
temperature, but with various rates, times, and temperatures
in between. Multiple ramps can also be programmed for
temperature decreases as well as increases.
Final temperature 2
Final time 2
Rate 2
Final temperature 1
Initial temperature
Final time 1
Rate 3 = 0
Rate 1
Initial time 1
Programming setpoints
Temperature Starting temperature of a temperature
programmed run. When the program begins, this value is
copied into a temporary setpoint called Init temp. At the end
of the run, Temperature is reset to the value in Init temp and
the oven returns to its starting temperature.
Initial time Time in minutes that the oven will stay at the
starting temperature after a programmed run has begun.
Rate The rate in °C/min at which the oven will be heated
or cooled.
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Final temperature Temperature of the oven at the end of a
heating or cooling rate.
Final time Time in minutes that the oven will be held at the
final temperature of a temperature- programmed rate.
Total length of a run is determined by its oven temperature
program. The maximum allowable time for a run is
999.99 minutes. If the program is still running at that time,
the run terminates.
See also “Post Run Programming.”
Oven ramp rates
To use the fast oven ramp rates (a 240 V power option is
required), your electric service must be able to supply
≥ 200 V at ≥ 15 Amp.
The highest rate that you can achieve depends on many
factors, including the room temperature, temperatures of the
inlets and detectors, the amount of material inside the oven
(columns, valves, etc.), and whether or not this is the first
run of the day.
The optional oven insert for fast chromatography (see “About
the Oven Insert” on page 298), increases oven ramp rates for
the back column. Table 57 lists typical oven ramp rates.
Table 57
Oven ramp rates
100/120 V oven
ramp rate (°C/minute)
Advanced User Guide
200/220/230/240 V oven
ramp rate (°C/minute)
Temperature
range (°C)
Without
insert
With optional Without
insert
insert
With optional
insert
50 to 70
75
120
120
120
70 to 115
45
95
95
120
115 to 175
40
65
65
110
175 to 300
30
45
45
80
300 to 450
20
35
35
65
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Setting the oven parameters for constant temperature
An isothermal run is one in which the oven is maintained at
a constant temperature. For an isothermal run, set Rate 1 to
zero.
1 Press [Oven] to open the oven parameter list.
2
Enter the oven temperature for the isothermal run.
3
Enter the number of minutes (Initial time) that you want
the oven to stay at this temperature. This time is the
duration of the run.
4
If Rate 1 is not already 0, enter zero for an isothermal
run.
Setting the oven parameters for ramped temperature
Single ramp
1 Press [Oven] to open the oven parameter list.
2
Enter a starting temperature (Temperature).
3
Enter the time (Initial time) that you want the oven to stay
at Temperature.
4
Enter the rate (Rate 1) at which the oven temperature is
to change.
5
Enter the final temperature (Final temperature 1).
6
Enter the time (Final time 1) the oven is to hold Final
temperature 1.
7
To end the oven ramp program after Ramp 1, set Rate 2 to
zero.
Multiple ramps
In a multiple- ramp program, Final time for one ramp is also
Initial time for the next ramp. Thus, there is only one Initial
time.
1 Set up the first oven ramp as described in “Single ramp”.
296
2
Enter the rate (Rate 2) at which you want the oven
temperature to increase for the second oven ramp.
3
Enter the final temperature (Final temperature 2).
4
Enter the number of minutes (Final time 2) that you want
the oven to hold the final temperature.
5
To end the temperature program after the second ramp,
set Rate 3 to zero.
Advanced User Guide
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To add additional oven ramps, repeat the steps described.
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About the Oven Insert
The Oven Insert for Fast Chromatography reduces the oven
volume so that the column and sample heat more quickly,
yielding faster separation and faster chromatography.
Furthermore, the smaller volume oven cools faster than a
full- sized oven, reducing the overall analytical cycle time.
Carrying strap
WARNING!
Metal parts may be
hot enough to burn.
The oven insert is used with any inlet, column, and detector
mounted in the back position. It is not compatible with any
accessory which obstructs access to the front of the oven or
which requires the use of either the front inlet or the front
part of the oven.
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About Columns
In all GCs, a sample—which is a mixture of several
components—is vaporized in an inlet, separated in a column,
and examined in a detector.
The column separates components in time because:
• When a vaporized component is presented with a gas
phase and a coating phase, it divides between the two
phases according to its relative attraction to the two
phases.
• The “attraction” can be solubility, volatility, polarity,
specific chemical interaction, or any other property that
differs from one component to another.
• If one phase is stationary (the coating) and the other is
moving (the carrier gas), the component will travel at a
speed less than that of the moving phase. How much less
depends on the strength of the attraction.
• If different components have different “attractions”, they
will separate in time.
Selecting the correct packed glass column type
This topic is covered in the Maintenance manual. See To
attach a packed column to the purged packed inlet for
details.
About the column modes
The flow modes available are determined by the GC inlet’s
control mode. When the inlet’s control mode is set to
Pressure control, all of the flow modes and pressure modes
below are available for the column. When the inlets control
mode is set to Flow control, the column’s mode is not
selectable. For an inlet’s mode of Flow control, only column
flow can be entered.
The flow modes
Flow rates are corrected to NTP (normal temperature and
pressure, 25 °C and 1 atmosphere.
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• Constant flow—Maintains a constant mass flow rate of
carrier gas in the column throughout the run. If the
column resistance changes due to a temperature program,
the column head pressure is adjusted to keep the flow
rate constant. This can shorten runs significantly.
• Ramped flow—Increases the mass flow rate in the column
during the run according to a program you enter. A
column flow profile can have up to three ramps, each
consisting of a programmed increase followed by a hold
period.
The pressure modes
The pressure modes are not available if the column is not
defined or the inlet’s mode is set to Flow control.
Pressures are gauge pressures—the difference between the
absolute pressure and the local atmospheric pressure.
Because most detectors present little resistance to the
column flow, the gauge pressure at the column head is
usually the same as the pressure difference between column
inlet and exit. The mass selective detector and the atomic
emission detector are the exceptions.
• Constant pressure—Maintains a constant gauge pressure
at the head of the column throughout the run. If the
column resistance and gas density changes during a run,
the gauge pressure does not change but the mass flow
rate does.
• Ramped pressure—Increases the column head gauge
pressure during the run according to a program you
enter. A column pressure profile can have up to three
ramps, each consisting of a programmed increase followed
by a hold period.
Select a column mode
The column’s mode parameter is not available if the inlet’s
mode parameter is set to Flow control.
When a splitter controlled by a PCM or AUX pressure is
used to divide flow between multiple columns, only the
mode setting of the lowest column number configured
determines the mode used. All other column mode settings
exiting the splitter are ignored by the GC.
1 Press [Col 1] or [Col 2], or press [Aux col #] and enter the
column number.
2
300
Scroll to the Mode line.
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Columns and Oven
3
Press [Mode/Type] to see the column mode list.
4
Scroll to the column mode you want. Press [Enter].
This completes column mode selection. Next you must
specify the inlet conditions either during the entire run (if
you selected either of the constant modes) or at the
beginning of the run (if you selected either of the ramped
modes).
Setting the column parameters for constant flow or constant pressure
If the column is defined, you can enter any one of these
quantities—the GC will calculate and display the other two.
For example, you may have selected Constant pressure as the
column mode. You decide to specify, as a starting condition,
the column flow. The GC will compute the pressure
necessary to achieve this flow (as well as the average linear
velocity) and hold this pressure constant during the run.
If you select Constant flow as the mode and specify column
flow as the initial condition, the GC will still calculate the
pressure necessary to achieve this flow, but it will adjust the
pressure as necessary to maintain constant flow.
If the column is not defined, you can enter only pressure.
Constant flow can still be specified, but the GC cannot know
what the flow is.
1 Press [Col 1] or [Col 2], or press [Aux col #] and enter the
column number.
2
Scroll to the Pressure or Flow or Velocity line.
3
Type the desired initial value, followed by [Enter]. The GC
will compute and display the other two values. Adjust
them, if you choose to, by repeating steps 2 and 3 but
note that changing any one changes all three.
This completes setting the initial carrier gas condition.
Enter a flow or pressure program (optional)
If you selected either the ramped pressure or ramped flow
column mode, the column parameter list contains entries for
setting up a ramp program.
You begin with an initial value, either Initial Pressure or Initial
Flow, and an Initial time. At the end of that time, Rate 1 begins
and runs until it reaches Final pressure (or Final flow). It
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remains at that value for Final time 1. You can then add a
second and third ramp, each consisting of a Rate, a Final
value (pressure or flow), and a Final time.
The program ends when it reaches a Rate that is set to 0
(Off).
When a flow or pressure program is running, the Pressure,
Flow, and Velocity lines that you used to set constant
conditions show the progress of the program.
The oven program determines the length of the run. If a
flow or pressure program ends before the analytical run
does, the flow (or pressure) remains at the last final value.
Programming column pressure or flow
1 Press [Col 1] or [Col 2], or press [Aux col #] and enter the
column number.
302
2
Scroll to Initial pressure (or Initial flow). Type the desired
value and press [Enter].
3
Similarly, enter a value for Initial time. This completes the
initial part of the program.
4
To begin a ramp, enter a positive value for Rate 1. It does
not matter whether you are programming up or
down—the rate is always positive.
5
If Rate 1 is zero, the program ends here. If you enter any
other value, the Final value lines for the first ramp
appear and the cursor moves to the line.
6
Enter values for Final pressure 1 (or Final flow 1) and Final
time 1. This completes the first ramp.
7
To enter a second ramp, scroll to the appropriate Rate
line and repeat steps 5 and 6. A maximum of 20 ramps
can be entered.
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Backflushing a Column
Backflush is a means of discarding high- boilers from a
column after the peaks of interest have eluted. It saves
analysis time and has these additional benefits:
• Longer column life
• less high temperature exposure
• removal of high- boilers
• protection from air and water at high temperatures
• Less chemical background
• ghost peaks
• “wrap- around” of late eluters from previous runs
• stationary phase decomposition peaks
• Less contamination of the mass selective detector (MSD)
source, if using MSD
• longer time between source cleanings
• higher stability of calibrations
Agilent now provides two Backflush Wizard software
utilities. One is available with the Instrument Utilities
software, and the other is an add- on for your Agilent data
systems. These utilities complement each other, and
automate the process of updating the GC and method to
implement and validate successful backflushing. Contact your
Agilent sales representative for more information
If not using an Agilent Backflush Wizard, you will need to
experimentally determine the correct flow/pressure settings
and the backflush time appropriate for your analysis.
Determine the correct values by testing the backflush
method, then running a blank to check for residual late
eluters.
CAUTION
Only backflush an inlet that has a split vent line with a chemical trap,
such as the split/splitless, PTV, and VI. Attempts to backflush using
other inlet types will most likely damage the pneumatics flow
modules.
Refer to the Agilent web site at http://www.agilent.com/chem
for example backflush applications, especially if using an
MSD.
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Backflushing when connected to an MSD
If using an MSD with the GC, backflushing becomes more
complex. Set up backflush as a post run event by using the
Backflush Wizard present in the MSD Productivity
ChemStation.
Backflushing using a capillary flow technology device
Because the following capillary flow technology (CFT)
devices connect to a controlled carrier gas supply, they can
be used to backflush a column:
• G2855B Capillary Flow Technology Deans Switching
System
• G3180B Capillary Flow Technology Two- Way Splitter
(with makeup gas)
• G3183B Capillary Flow Technology Three- Way Splitter
• G3185B QuickSwap Accessory
A conceptual diagram for a simple setup is shown in the
figure.
Split Vent
Trap
Auxiliary
EPC/PCM
Detector
CFT Device
Inlet
Column
After the last analyte of interest elutes, you can program a
decrease in inlet column flow with an increase in the
pressure/flow from the Aux EPC or PCM connected to the
CFT device, thereby reversing column flow and forcing the
remaining analytes off the column and out of the inlet split
vent. You can do this using a post run program or as a
ramped pressure or flow program.
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To set up a post run backflush
A main advantage of the post- run backflush method is that
the GC turns off detection during this time. If using an MSD,
this helps prevent damage to the detector and is the
recommended backflush method.
If using an Agilent data system, a Backflush Wizard provides
a straightforward interface for making these settings.
1 Verify that all columns are properly configured.
2
Since the backflush will run as a post- run program, set
the method so that the oven program ends after the last
peak of interest returns to baseline, or after reaching the
last temperature of interest.
3
Press [Post Run] and enter the backflush duration as the
Time.
• The oven temperature and column pressure/flow
setpoints for installed columns appear.
• Whether you can enter a pressure or flow for a column
depends on its mode (pressure or flow).
• Some inlets, such as the multimode inlet, also provide
a post run inlet temperature and total flow rate.
4
Enter the oven temperature for the backflush.
5
Enter the backflush flow(s) or pressure(s).
If in flow mode:
• Enter a negative flow for the column connected
between the inlet and the CFT device. The GC will
automatically establish the corresponding pressures
needed in the inlet and the CFT device.
• Increase the flow rates in the column(s) connected
between the CFT device and the detector(s).
If in pressure mode:
• Set the pressure of the column connected between the
inlet and the CFT device to 0.000. This turns off flow
from the inlet.
• Increase the pressure of the primary column connected
between the CFT device and the detector(s). This
creates the backward flow through the column and
increases the flow through any connected detectors.
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If using a multimode inlet, enter a total flow and inlet
temperature for the post run (backflush) period.
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When developing the backflush portion of your method,
consider the following:
• Ensure that the split vent flow setpoint is at least 25
mL/min and at least 50% more than the column backflush
flow rate.
• If using gas saver, ensure that the gas saver flow setpoint
is at least 25 mL/min and at least 50% more than the
column backflush flow rate.
To backflush using a ramped pressure program
In this case, the backflush occurs as part of the run, so the
detectors continue to collect data. During the backflush, you
may wish to turn off data collection in the data system.
CAUTION
To avoid damage to an MSD, Agilent strongly recommends setting
up backflush as a post run event, not as part of a ramped column
program. If you still choose to backflush as part of a run, be very
careful that the flow into the MSD does not exceed the limits of the
vacuum pump.
1 Verify that all columns are properly configured.
2 Enter all method parameters for the analysis: sampler
parameters, inlet parameters, oven temperature profile,
detector flows and temperatures, and so forth.
3 Program the oven for the backflush.
• Include any temperature profile needed for backflush.
• Set the total run time to include sufficient time for
backflush.
4
Program the pressure ramp for the column installed
between the inlet and the CFT device. After the last
analyte elutes or after reaching the last temperature of
interest, program a fast ramp (for example, 30 psi/min)
with a final pressure of 0.
5
Program the pressure ramp for the primary column
installed between the CFT device and the detector. The
pressure should increase slightly during the backflush
duration so that the flow into the detectors remains
relatively stable.
If you turned off data acquisition in a data system during
backflush, remember to turn it on again at the end of the
run.
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To backflush using a ramped flow program
In this case, the backflush occurs as part of the run, so the
detectors continue to collect data. During the backflush, you
may wish to turn off data collection in the data system.
CAUTION
To avoid damage to an MSD, Agilent strongly recommends setting
up backflush as a post run event, not as part of a ramped column
program. If you still choose to backflush as part of a run, be very
careful that the flow into the MSD does not exceed the limits of the
vacuum pump.
1 Verify that all columns are properly configured.
2 Enter all method parameters for the analysis: sampler
parameters, inlet parameters, oven temperature profile,
detector flows and temperatures, and so forth.
3 Program the oven for the backflush.
• Include any temperature profile needed for backflush.
• Set the total run time to include sufficient time for
backflush.
4
Program the flow ramp for the column installed between
the inlet and the CFT device. After the last analyte elutes
or after reaching the last temperature of interest,
program a fast ramp with a final flow that is negative.
5
Program the flow ramp for the primary column installed
between the CFT device and the detector. Typically hold
at the method’s final value for the backflush duration.
If you turned off data acquisition in a data system during
backflush, remember to turn it on again at the end of the
run.
Backflushing using a switching valve
Backflushing is done using a column switching valve
controlled by the Run Table. See “Run Time Programming”
on page 16.
The valve is plumbed as follows:
• Position 1 Carrier gas flows through the column to the
detector. This is the normal flow path.
• Position 2 Carrier gas flows through the column toward the
inlet, removing components on the column through the
inlet vent line.
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The Run Table contains commands to perform these actions:
• After the last peak of interest appears, switch the valve
to Position 2. Higher boiling peaks are discarded through
the inlet vent.
• At the same time, turn data acquisition off.
• At the end of the backflush period (determined
experimentally), switch the valve to Position 1 and turn
data acquisition on. The system is now ready for the next
run.
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Nickel Catalyst Tube
About the nickel catalyst tube
The Nickel Catalyst Tube accessory, G2747A, is used for
trace analysis of CO and CO2 with a flame ionization
detector. The gas sample is separated on the column and
passed over a heated catalyst in the presence of hydrogen,
which converts the CO and CO2 peaks to CH4.
Sample
Carrier gas
Hydrogen
Column
Gas sample valve
Air
Nickel catalyst
FID
Nickel catalyst gas flows
For a standard FID installation:
Table 58
Advanced User Guide
Gas flows for a standard FID
Gas
Flow rate, mL/min
Carrier (helium)
30
FID hydrogen
30 (see Caution)
FID air
400
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Table 59
CAUTION
Gas flows for a TCD/FID series installation
Gas
Flow rate, mL/min
Carrier (helium)
30
TCD switching flow
25
FID hydrogen
45 (see Caution)
FID air
500
Hydrogen flow is pressure-controlled, where an FID provides a
known resistance. The nickel catalyst tube increases flow
resistance, so that the calibration is no longer valid. You must
measure hydrogen flow with a bubble or similar meter.
The nickel catalyst can be damaged by exposure to air.
Setting temperatures for the nickel catalyst tube
The nickel catalyst tube is usually mounted in the back inlet
position and controlled by the back inlet temperature
setpoint. For most analyses, set these temperatures:
• Nickel catalyst tube—375 °C
• FID—400 °C
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10
Detectors
About Makeup Gas 312
About the FID 313
About the TCD 318
About the uECD 326
About the NPD 332
About the FPD 344
Agilent Technologies
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10 Detectors
About Makeup Gas
Most detectors use a makeup gas to increase the flow rate
through the detector body. This sweeps peaks out of the
detector quickly, avoiding mixing of components and loss of
resolution. This is particularly important with capillary
columns because the column flow rates are so small.
The makeup gas line of your detector parameter list changes
depending on your instrument configuration.
If you have an inlet with the column not defined, the
makeup flow is constant. If you are operating with column
defined, you have a choice of two makeup gas modes.
Constant makeup This mode provides a constant flow of
makeup gas to the detector.
Column + makeup = constant This mode provides a variable
flow of makeup gas to the detector. As column flow
increases or decreases, the makeup flow changes to provide
a constant combined flow to the detector. If you choose this
option, enter a value under Combined flow. The Combined flow
line always displays the same value, while the Makeup line
changes as the actual makeup flow changes.
To change the makeup gas flow mode
1 Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
312
2
Scroll to Mode. Press [Mode/Type].
3
Scroll to the correct mode and press [Enter].
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Detectors
10
About the FID
The FID passes sample and carrier gas from the column
through a hydrogen- air flame. The hydrogen- air flame alone
creates few ions, but burning an organic compound increases
the number of ions produced. A polarizing voltage attracts
these ions to a collector located near the flame. The current
produced is proportional to the amount of sample being
burned. This current is sensed by an electrometer, converted
to digital form, and sent to an output device.
The FID uses three supply gases (hydrogen, makeup gas, and
air) and two supply lines. Air flows through one supply line,
while hydrogen mixed with the makeup gas flows through
the other. All three supply gases use:
• A filter frit to protect the flow path and limit the flow
rate
• A proportional valve to control the pressure
• A pressure sensor and restrictor to control the valve
The hydrogen and makeup mix outside the flow module and
enter the detector at the base of the jet. Air enters above
the jet.
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H2
Makeup
Air
EPC Module
Vent
Frit
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Valve
PS
PS
Restrictor
Restrictor
PS
Restrictor
Column
PS = Pressure Sensor
Table 60
Properties of the FID
Property
Value/Comment
Dynamic range
1 x 107
Sensitivity
10 to 100 picograms of an organic compound
dependent on the molecular structure.
Selectivity
Responds to all organic compounds (C-H bonds)
except those which do not burn or ionize in the
hydrogen-air flame. There is little or no response for
H2O, CO2, CO, N2, O2 CS2 or inert gases.
Formaldehyde and heavily halogenated compounds
give minimal response.
How FID units are displayed in Agilent data systems and on the GC
The GC displays the FID signal in picoamperes (pA). The
following table lists how different data systems convert the
display units to reporting units.
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Table 61
10
Unit conversions
Data system
Height units
LSV (height units)
Area units
Noise (ASTM)*
Agilent data system
1 pA
1.3 x10-4 pA
1 pA-sec
0.038 pA
†
SIGRange 0
-4
1 x 10 pA
SIGRange 5
Analog 1V‡
-4
1.3 x 10 pA
-4
1 x 10 pA
0.038 pA
3.2 x 10-3 pA
4.2 x 10-3 pA
3.2 x 10-3 pA
0.038 pA
1.25 x 10-4 pA
device dependent
1.25 x 10-4 pA
0.038 pA
* Noise is recommended maximum when determining MDL.
† SIGRange used with 3393 and 3396 integrators.
‡ Analog 1V is an approximate value.
To light the FID flame
Press [Front Det] or [Back Det], scroll to Flame, then press
[On/Yes].
To extinguish the FID flame
Press [Front Det] or [Back Det], scroll to Flame, then press
[Off/No].
FID automatic reignition (Lit offset)
Lit offset is the expected minimum difference between the FID
output with the flame lit and the output with the flame off.
The GC checks this value during runs and when loading a
method.
During a run, if the output falls below the Lit offset value, the
FID will attempt to reignite three times. If after the third
attempt the output does not increase by at least this value,
the detector shuts down all functions except temperature
and makeup gas flow.
When loading a method that includes a Flame On setting, the
GC performs a similar check. If the detector output is less
than the Lit offset, it will attempt reignition after reaching
method setpoints.
The default setting for Lit offset is 2.0 picoamps. This is a
good working value for all but very clean gases and systems.
You may want to lower this setpoint if the detector attempts
to reignite when the flame is still on, thus producing a
shutdown.
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To change Lit offset:
1 Press [Config][Front Det] or [Config][Back Det].
2
Scroll to Lit offset.
3
Enter the new value and press [Enter].
Recommended starting conditions for new FID methods
See Table 62 for guidelines and rules to select initial
detector settings for new methods.
Table 62
Recommended starting conditions
Combustible gas mix
Make sure that the final hydrogen-to-air ratio is between 8% and 12%
Detector temperature
Set to 20 °C above the highest oven temperature, depending on the column type.
A temperature of 300 °C provides a good starting point and easier ignition, and
minimizes water condensation.
The GC will not attempt to ignite the flame at a temperature <150 °C.
Carrier gas flow (hydrogen, helium,
nitrogen)
Packed columns
Suggest 10 to 60 mL/min
Capillary columns
Suggest 1 to 5 mL/min
Detector gases
Flow range mL/min
Suggested flow mL/min
Column plus capillary makeup
10 to 60
30
Hydrogen
24 to 60
30
Air
200 to 600
400
Column plus capillary makeup
10 to 60
30
Hydrogen
24 to 60
30*
Air
200 to 600
400
10 to 60
30
Standard installation
With Nickel Catalyst Accessory:
Standard installation
With Nickel Catalyst Accessory:
TCD to FID series installation
Column plus capillary makeup
TCD switching flow
Hydrogen
316
25
24 to 60
45*
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Detectors
Table 62
Recommended starting conditions (continued)
Air
200 to 600
450
* Detector hydrogen is pressure controlled, where the detector provides a known resistance. If using a nickel catalyst tube, the resistance
changes, and the flow rates displayed by the GC will not be accurate. Measure the actual hydrogen flow using a flow meter at the detector
vent, with all other flows turned off.
Use nitrogen makeup gas (instead of helium) for greater
sensitivity.
Setting parameters for FID
WA R N I N G
Verify that a column is installed or the FID column fitting is
plugged before turning on the air or hydrogen. An explosion may
occur if air and hydrogen are allowed to leak into the oven.
To set the FID parameters:
1 Verify:
• Makeup gas is configured
• Installed jet type is correct for column type
2
Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
3
Set the detector temperature. The temperature must be
greater than 150 °C for the flame to light.
4
Set the hydrogen flow rate, if desired, and press [Off/No].
5
Change the air flow rate, if desired, and press [Off/No].
6
If using a packed column, set the FID makeup gas to
0.0/Off.
7
If using a defined capillary column, set the makeup gas
flow or combined column plus makeup gas flow.
8
Scroll to Flame and press [On/Yes]. This turns on the air
and hydrogen and initiates the ignition sequence. The
signal typically increases to 5 to 20 pA after ignition.
Verify that the flame is lit by holding a cold, shiny
surface, such as a mirror or chrome- plated wrench, over
the collector exit. Steady condensation indicates that the
flame is lit.
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About the TCD
The TCD compares the thermal conductivities of two gas
flows—pure carrier gas (the reference gas) and carrier gas
plus sample components (the column effluent).
This detector contains a filament that is heated electrically
so that it is hotter than the detector body. The filament
temperature is held constant while alternate streams of
reference gas and column effluent pass over it. When a
sample component appears in the effluent, the power
required to keep the filament temperature constant changes.
The two gas streams are switched over the filament five
times per second (hence the ticking sound) and the power
differences are measured and recorded.
When helium (or hydrogen) is used as carrier gas, the
sample causes the thermal conductivity to fall. If nitrogen is
used, the thermal conductivity usually goes up because most
things are more conductive than nitrogen.
Because the TCD does not destroy the sample during the
detection process, this detector can be connected in series to
a flame ionization detector or other detector.
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Column effluent
is forced away from
the filament. TCD
measures reference gas.
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10
Column effluent
is forced toward
the filament. TCD
measures peaks
(if present).
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TCD pneumatics
This is the pneumatics design of the TCD.
Makeup
Reference Gas
Vent
Valve
Frit
EPC Module
PS
Frit
Restrictor
Reference
switching valve
Valve
PS
Restrictor
Column
PS = Pressure Sensor
TCD carrier, reference, and makeup gas
Reference and makeup gas must be the same as the carrier
gas, and the gas type must be specified in both the inlet and
detector parameter lists.
When using packed columns, we recommend a small makeup
gas flow (2 to 3 mL/min) to get the best peak shapes.
Use the next figure to select a value for reference gas flow
for either capillary or packed columns. Any ratio within
±0.25 of that in the figure is suitable.
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Detectors
4.0
3.0
Ratio of reference flow to
column + makeup flow
2.0
1.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Column + makeup flow, mL/min
TCD gas pressures
Choose a flow, find a pressure, set source pressure 10 psi
(70 kPa) higher.
4
Hydrogen
Helium
3
Reference gas flow, mL/min
Nitrogen
2
1
Pressure (psig)
(kPa)
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69
20
138
30
207
40
276
50
345
60
414
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20
16
Hydrogen
12
Makeup gas flow, mL/min
Helium
8
Nitrogen
4
Pressure (psig)
(kPa)
10
69
20
138
30
207
40
276
50
345
60
414
Selecting reference and makeup flows for the TCD
Table 63
Recommended flow rates and temperatures
Gas type
Flow range
Carrier gas
(hydrogen, helium, nitrogen)
Packed, 10 to 60 mL/min
Capillary, 1 to 5 mL/min
Reference
(same gas type as carrier)
15 to 60 mL/min
See the figures to select a value.
Capillary makeup
(same gas type as carrier)
5 to 15 mL/min—capillary columns
2 to 3 mL/min—packed columns
Detector temperature
<150 °C, cannot turn on filament
Detector temperature should be 30 °C to 50 °C greater than highest oven ramp
temperature.
Sample components with higher thermal conductivities than
the carrier gas produce negative peaks. For example, helium
or hydrogen form a negative peak with nitrogen or
argon- methane as the carrier gas.
Chemically active compounds reduce TCD filament life
The tungsten- rhenium TCD filament has been chemically
passivated to protect against oxygen damage. However,
chemically active compounds such as acids and halogenated
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compounds may attack the filament. The immediate symptom
is a permanent change in detector sensitivity due to a
change in filament resistance.
If possible, such compounds should be avoided. If this is not
possible, the filament may have to be replaced frequently.
Changing the TCD polarity during a run
Negative polarity On inverts the peak so the integrator or
ChemStation can measure it. Negative polarity can be a run
table entry; see “Run Time Programming” on page 16.
Detecting hydrogen with the TCD using helium carrier gas
Hydrogen is the only element with thermal conductivity
greater than helium, and mixtures of small amounts of
hydrogen (<20%) in helium at moderate temperatures exhibit
thermal conductivities less than either component alone. If
you are analyzing for hydrogen with helium carrier gas, a
hydrogen peak may appear as positive, negative, or as a split
peak.
There are two solutions to this problem:
• Use nitrogen or argon- methane as carrier gas. This
eliminates problems inherent with using helium as carrier,
but causes reduced sensitivity to components other than
hydrogen.
• Operate the detector at higher temperatures—from 200 °C
to 300 °C.
You can find the correct detector operating temperature by
analyzing a known range of hydrogen concentrations,
increasing the operating temperature until the hydrogen peak
exhibits normal shape and is always in the same direction
(negative relative to normal response to air or propane)
regardless of concentration. This temperature also ensures
high sensitivity and linear dynamic range.
Because hydrogen peaks are negative, you must turn
negative polarity on at appropriate times so the peak
appears positive.
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Setting parameters for the TCD
1 Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
2
Set the detector temperature. Do not set higher than the
maximum temperature allowed for the column because part of
the column passes through the heated block and into the cell.
3
Verify that makeup gas type is the same as that plumbed
to your instrument (next to Makeup line in the parameter
list). Change the gas type, if necessary.
4
Set the reference gas flow rate.
5
If you are using packed columns, turn off the makeup gas
(or proceed to step 6 and enter 2 to 3 mL/min, see “TCD
carrier, reference, and makeup gas” on page 320) and
proceed to step 7
6
If you are using capillary columns:, choose a flow mode
and set the makeup gas flow or combined flow.
7
Turn on the filament. Allow about 30 minutes for thermal
stabilization. A longer period may be needed for the
highest sensitivity.
8
If necessary, turn Negative polarity [On/Yes] to invert
negative- going peaks. When a sample contains
components giving both positive- and negative- going
peaks, Negative polarity can be switched on and off during
a run as a timetable event.
Example: Packed mode (packed and large capillary columns)
Column flow is 15 to 60 mL/min. Set the reference flow to
1.5 times the sum of column flow + makeup flow.
Makeup gas is recommended with all capillary columns. It
allows the column to be inserted all the way into the
detector and withdrawn 1 mm. If makeup is not used, the
column must be no more than 3 mm above the ferrule.
Minimum makeup flow is 1 mL/min.
1/8-inch stainless steel column If column flow is 30 mL/min,
set the reference flow to 30 × 1.5 = 45 mL/min. Total
detector flow is 30 + 45 = 75 mL/min.
10 m × 0.53 mm column If column flow is 15 mL/min and
makeup flow = 2 mL/min, set the reference flow to 1.5 × (15
+ 2) = 25.5 mL/min. Total detector flow is 17 + 25.5 =
42.5 mL/min.
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Example: Capillary mode (small capillary columns)
If combined column plus makeup flow is between 5 and
10 mL/min, set the reference flow at 3× the combined flow.
For a combined flow between 10 and 15 mL/min, use a
multiplier of 2. This will bring the TCD within 25% of the
maximum response. For further optimization, adjust the
reference flow.
2 m × 0.2 mm capillary column If column flow is 0.75 mL/min,
the makeup must be at least 4.25 mL/min. Set it = 5.
Reference flow will then be 3 × 5.75 = 17.25 mL/min. Total
detector flow = 5.75 + 17.25 = 22.5 mL/min.
25 m × 0.32 mm capillary column If column flow = 10 mL/min,
set makeup low to minimize sample dilution. Set it =
2 mL/min. Reference flow will then be 12 × 2 = 24 mL/min.
Total detector flow = 12 + 24 = 36 mL/min.
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About the uECD
The micro- cell detector (uECD) contains a cell plated with
63Ni, a radioactive isotope. The 63Ni releases β particles that
collide with carrier gas molecules to produce low- energy
electrons—each β particle produces approximately 100
electrons. The free electrons produce a small current—called
the reference or standing current—that is collected and
measured in a pulsed circuit.
When a sample component molecule comes into contact with
the free electrons, the electrons may be captured by the
sample molecules to create negatively charged ions. The
voltage across the cell electrodes is pulsed to collect the
remaining free electrons while the heavier ions are relatively
unaffected and swept out the vent with the carrier gas flow.
Cell current is measured and compared to a reference
current. The pulse rate is adjusted to maintain a constant
cell current. The more uncaptured electrons, the lower the
pulse frequency required to match the reference current.
When a component that captures electrons passes through
the cell, the pulse rate rises. This pulse rate is converted to
a voltage and recorded.
uECD safety and regulatory information
The 63Ni isotope
The radioactive isotope used in the cell is 63Ni. It is plated
onto the inner surface of the cell body and is solid at
temperatures used in chromatography. Some other properties
are listed below.
Table 64
326
Properties of 63Ni
Property
Value
Half–life:
101.1 years
Emission:
65.87 keV max., beta radiation
Melting point:
1453 °C
Dimensions of the active part of the
uECD:
Inside diameter: 6 mm
Height: 4.2 mm
Total activity (uECD cell):
555 MBq (15 millicuries) maximum
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uECD licenses
Customers in the United states can purchase an exempt
model uECD. Customers outside the United States should
contact their local Agilent sales office for information.
uECD warnings
Although beta particles at this energy level have little
penetrating power —the surface layer of the skin or a few
sheets of paper will stop most of them—they may be
hazardous if the isotope is ingested or inhaled. For this
reason the cell must be handled with care: Radioactive leak
tests must be performed at the required intervals (not
applicable to exempt models), the inlet and outlet fittings
must be capped when the detector is not in use, corrosive
chemicals must not be introduced into the detector, and the
effluent from the detector must be vented outside the
laboratory environment.
WA R N I N G
WA R N I N G
Materials that may react with the 63Ni source, either to form
volatile products or to cause physical degradation of the plated
film, must be avoided. These materials include oxidizing
compounds, acids, wet halogens, wet nitric acid, ammonium
hydroxide, hydrogen sulfide, PCBs, and carbon monoxide. This list
is not exhaustive but indicates the kinds of compounds that may
cause damage to 63Ni detectors.
In the extremely unlikely event that both the oven and the detector
heated zone should go into thermal runaway (maximum,
uncontrolled heating in excess of 400 °C) at the same time, and
that the detector remains exposed to this condition for more than
12 hours, take the following steps:
• After turning off the main power and allowing the
instrument to cool, cap the detector inlet and exhaust
vent openings. Wear disposable plastic gloves and observe
normal laboratory safety precautions.
• Return the cell for exchange, following directions included
with the License Verification Form (part no.
19233- 90750).
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• Include a letter stating the condition of abuse.
It is unlikely, even in this very unusual situation, that
radioactive material will escape the cell. However, permanent
damage to the 63Ni plating within the cell is possible, and
therefore, the cell must be returned for exchange.
WA R N I N G
Do not use solvents to clean the uECD.
WA R N I N G
You may not open the uECD cell unless authorized to do so by your
local nuclear regulatory agency. Do not disturb the four
socket-head bolts. These hold the cell halves together. United
States customers removing or disturbing them is a violation of the
terms of the exemption and could create a safety hazard.
Safety precautions when handling uECDs
• Never eat, drink, or smoke when handling uECDs.
• Always wear safety glasses when working with or near
open uECDs.
• Wear protective clothing such as laboratory jackets, safety
glasses, and gloves, and follow good laboratory practices.
Wash hands thoroughly with a mild non- abrasive cleaner
after handling uECDs.
• Cap the inlet and outlet fittings when the uECD is not in
use.
• Connect the uECD exhaust vent to a fume hood or vent it
to the outside. See the latest revision of title 10, Code of
Federal Regulations, part 20, (including appendix B) or
the applicable State regulation. For other countries,
consult with the appropriate agency for equivalent
requirements.
Agilent Technologies recommends a vent line inside
diameter of 6 mm (1/4 inch) or greater. With a line of
this diameter, the length is not critical.
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uECD gas flows
Anode purge and makeup gas
Restrictor
Frit
Vent
PS
63Ni
Valve
Restrictor
Capillary adapter
EPC Module
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
uECD linearity
The uECD response factor versus concentration curve is
linear for four orders of magnitude or more (linear dynamic
range = 104 or higher) for a broad range of compounds. You
should still run a calibration curve on your samples to find
the limits of the linear range for your materials.
uECD detector gas
The uECD operates with either nitrogen or argon/methane as
the makeup and anode gas. Purity is critical; gases must
exceed 99.9995% purity.
Because of the high detector sensitivity, carrier and makeup
gas must be dry and oxygen- free. Moisture, chemical, and
oxygen traps in good condition should be installed in carrier
and makeup gas supply lines. Do not use plastic (including
PTFE) tubing, plastic- bodied traps, or O- ring seals.
uECD temperature
To prevent peak tailing and to keep the cell clean, the
detector temperature should be set higher than the highest
oven temperature used—the setpoint should be based on the
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elution temperature of the last compound. If you operate at
excessively high temperatures, your results will not
necessarily improve and you may increase sample and
column decomposition.
uECD analog output
If you intend to use the analog output from the uECD, you
must set the output Range to 10.
1 Press [Analog Out 1] or [Analog Out 2].
2 Scroll to Range.
3 Type 10 and press [Enter].
Recommended starting conditions for new uECD methods
Use the following information when selecting temperatures
and flows. Maximum source pressure must not exceed 100
psi. Use the maximum source pressure to achieve maximum
makeup flow rate.
Table 65
Starting values
Gas
Carrier gas
Packed columns
(nitrogen or argon-methane)
Capillary columns
(hydrogen, nitrogen, or
argon-methane)
Capillary makeup
(nitrogen or argon-methane)
Recommended flow range
30 to 60 mL/min
0.1 to 20 mL/min,
depending on diameter
10 to 150 mL/min
(30 to 60 mL/min typical)
Temperature
250 °C to 400 °C
Detector temperature is typically set 25 °C greater than the highest oven ramp
temperature.
uECD makeup gas notes
If the carrier gas type is different from the makeup gas type,
the makeup gas flow rate must be at least three times the
carrier gas flow rate.
uECD sensitivity can be increased by reducing the makeup
gas flow rate.
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uECD chromatographic speed (for fast peaks) can be
increased by increasing the makeup gas flow rate.
uECD temperature programming
The uECD is flow sensitive. If you are using temperature
programming, in which the column flow resistance changes
with temperature, set up the instrument as follows:
• Set the carrier gas in the Constant flow mode. Set detector
makeup gas to Constant makeup.
• If you choose to work in the constant pressure mode, the
makeup gas should be set in the Column +makeup=constant
mode.
Setting parameters for the uECD
Verify that your detector gases are connected, a column is
properly installed, and the system is free of leaks. Set the
oven temperature and the inlet temperature and flow. Make
sure your carrier gas type is the same as that plumbed to
your GC.
1 Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
2
Set the detector temperature. To keep the uECD cell
clean, this temperature must be higher than the oven
temperature.
3
Verify that the makeup gas type is the same as that
plumbed to your instrument. The gas type is in
parentheses next to the Makeup line on the parameter
list. Change the gas type, if necessary.
4
Enter a value for the makeup gas flow.
• If you are using packed columns, turn off the makeup
gas.
• If your capillary column is defined, choose a flow mode
and set the makeup or combined gas flow.
• If your capillary column is not defined, only constant
makeup flow is available. Enter a makeup gas flow.
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About the NPD
New NPD features and changes
The NPD firmware in this GC (A.01.08 or higher) is
considerably different from that in earlier versions and from
the 6890 firmware. Major changes are:
• Equilibration time parameter has been removed.
• Adjust Offset feature has been changed.
• Auto Adjust on/off has been added.
• Dry Mode has been added.
• Blos/ceramic bead selector has been added.
We strongly recommend that you allow the firmware to
perform Auto Adjust and set the Bead Voltage.
NPD software requirements
This discussion assumes that the following
firmware/software is installed:
Table 66
Software requirements
Product
Software/firmware revision
7890A GC
A.01.08 or higher
Agilent GC ChemStation
B.04.01 or higher
Agilent MSD ChemStation
G1701EA or higher
Agilent EZ Chrom Elite
3.3.2 or higher
Software/firmware with numbers less than shown in the
table can cause reduced bead lifetime. See the Agilent web
site (www.agilent.com) for firmware and software updates.
NPD flows and general information
The NPD passes sample and carrier through a hydrogen/air
plasma. A heated ceramic or glass source, called the bead, is just
above the jet. The low hydrogen/air ratio cannot sustain a flame,
minimizing hydrocarbon ionization, while the alkali ions on the
bead surface facilitate ionization of nitrogen- or
phosphorus- organic compounds. The output current is
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proportional to the number of ions collected. It is sensed by an
electrometer, converted to digital form, and sent to an output
device.
H2
Makeup
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Air
EPC Module
Frit
Valve
Vent
PS
PS
Restrictor
Electrically
heated bead
Restrictor
PS
Restrictor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Column
NPD flow, temperature, and bead recommendations
Table 67
General operating values
Gas or Setting
Recommendation
Carrier gas (helium, hydrogen, nitrogen) Capillary, choose optimum flow
based on column dimensions.
Detector gases
Advanced User Guide
Hydrogen
Ceramic bead
2 to 5 mL/min
Blos bead
1 to 3 mL/min
Air
Ceramic bead
60 mL/min
Blos bead
120 mL/min
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Table 67
General operating values (continued)
Gas or Setting
Capillary makeup (helium, nitrogen)
Recommendation
Ceramic bead
Nitrogen: 5 to 10 mL/min
Helium: less than 5 mL/min
Blos bead
1 to 20 mL/min
Temperature
Default is 250 °C; operating range is 150 °C to 400 °C.
• <150 °C, the Adjust offset process will not start.
• 325 to 335 °C is recommended.
• Detector temperature should be greater than the highest oven temperature.
With higher detector temperatures, less bead heating voltage is required.
Adjust offset
Default is 30 pA, suggested operating range is 20 to 40 pA, and allowable range
is 0 to 99.9 pA.
• ≥ 50 pA increases sensitivity but reduces bead life.
• Lower settings reduce sensitivity and increase bead life, but settings too low
will result in solvent quenching.
• The time required for Adjust offset depends on the bead type and condition.
Bead voltage
Ceramic bead. Range is 0 to 4.095 V.
Blos bead. Range is 0.5 to 1.1 V.
• Use Auto Adjust On, Dry Bead, and let the GC set the Bead Voltage for you.
Source gas pressures
Choose a flow, find a pressure, and set source pressure
10 psi (70 kPa) higher.
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150
Air
100
Flow, mL/min
Helium
50
Nitrogen
Pressure (psig)
(kPa)
5
10
69
20
138
30
207
40
276
50
345
60
414
70
483
4
Hydrogen
3
Flow, mL/min
2
1
Pressure (psig)
(kPa)
4
28
8
55
12
83
16
110
20
138
Temperature programming
The NPD is flow sensitive. If you are using temperature
programming, in which the column flow resistance changes
with temperature, set up the instrument as follows:
• Set the carrier gas in the Constant flow mode. Set detector
makeup gas to Constant makeup.
• If you choose to work in the constant pressure mode, the
makeup gas should be set in the Column +makeup=constant
mode.
NPD required gas purity
Because of its high sensitivity, the NPD requires very pure
(at least 99.9995%) gases. We strongly recommend that
moisture and organics traps be used on the carrier gas and
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all detector gases, including the detector hydrogen, air, and
makeup gases. Do not use plastic (including PTFE) tubing,
plastic- bodied traps, or O- ring seals.
Setting parameters for the NPD
Before operating the NPD, make sure that detector gases are
connected, a column is installed, and the system is free of
leaks. Set the oven temperature, inlet temperature, and
column flow.
WA R N I N G
Make sure that a column is installed or the NPD column fitting is
plugged before turning on the air or hydrogen. An explosion may
occur if air and hydrogen are allowed to leak into the oven.
1 Select the bead (white ceramic, black ceramic, Blos).
2
Select the jet.
3
Install bead and jet as required. (See the Maintenance
Manual for details.)
4
Press [Config][Front Det] or [Config][Back Det].
5
If you are using makeup gas, verify that the configured
makeup gas type is the same as that plumbed to your
instrument. Change the gas type, if necessary. Nitrogen is
recommended.
6
If the displayed Bead Type is incorrect, set the Bead Type
using the [Mode/Type] key.
7
Set Auto Adjust (On recommended).
8
Set Dry Bead (On recommended).
9
Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
10 Set the detector temperature. The recommended range is
325 to 335 °C.
11 Enter a hydrogen flow (3.0 mL/min is recommended).
Turn the flow On.
12 Enter an air flow (60 is recommended for ceramic beads,
120 for Blos beads). Turn the flow On.
a If you are using packed columns, turn off makeup gas
and proceed to step 13.
b If your capillary column is defined, choose a flow
mode and set the makeup gas flow. For a column in
the constant flow mode, choose Constant makeup. For a
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column in the constant pressure mode, choose Column
+makeup=constant.
c If your column is not defined, enter a makeup gas
flow. Only constant flow is available.
13 Monitor the offset adjustment process.
a If Auto Adjust is On, the adjust offset process starts
automatically when the detector reaches setpoint. If
Auto Adjust is Off, the Bead Voltage will gradually go to
the last setpoint after the bead reaches setpoint
temperature and the Dry Bead time has elapsed.
b If you need to set a new target offset, enter an Adjust
offset value. Adjust offset starts when the detector
reaches setpoint.
c If Auto Adjust is Off, you can manually start the Adjust
offset process by scrolling to Adjust offset, then pressing
[On/Yes].
d If your standard operating procedures require that you
set the bead voltage directly, see “Setting NPD bead
voltage manually (optional)” on page 343.
Selecting an NPD bead type
Three beads are available:
Table 68
NPD beads
Bead type
Part number
Advantages
Disadvantages
White ceramic
G1534-60570
Standard
Phosphorus tails
Black ceramic
5183-2007
Durable, no
phosphorus
tailing
Lower nitrogen
sensitivity,
about 40%
Blos bead
G3434-60806
Moisture
resistant, long life
Ceramic beads
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Changing from a ceramic bead to a Blos bead
CAUTION
The Blos bead is more delicate than the ceramic beads, and may be
distorted during shipping. Before installing a Blos bead, verify that it
is centered and adjust it if necessary.
When you turn the NPD off, the GC remembers the bead
voltage used and applies that voltage when the detector is
turned back on. If you have changed from a ceramic bead to
a Blos bead, this voltage will be too high and may damage
the new bead.
To avoid this, reduce the voltage to the ceramic bead to 0.5
V before turning the detector off. When it restarts, the lower
voltage will be applied.
Selecting an NPD jet
Open the oven door and locate the column connection fitting
at the base of the detector. It will look like either a capillary
optimized fitting or an adaptable fitting.
Adaptable fitting
Capillary optimized fitting
Detector fitting
Adapter
• If you have an application that tends to clog the jet, select
a jet with a wider tip id.
• When using packed columns in high column- bleed
applications, the jet tends to clog with silicon dioxide.
For capillary optimized fittings, select one of the following
from Table 69.
Table 69
Jets for capillary optimized fittings
Figure 3 ID
Jet type
Part number
Jet tip id
Length
1
Capillary with extended jet
(recommended)
G1534-80580
0.29 mm (0.011 inch)
51.5 mm
2
Capillary
G1531-80560
0.29 mm (0.011 inch)
43 mm
3
High-temperature
G1531-80620
0.47 mm (0.018 inch)
43 mm
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51.5 mm
1
43 mm
2
43 mm
1
3
Figure 1
2
3
Capillary optimized NPD jets
For the adjustable NPD, select one of the following from
Table 70.
Table 70
Jets for adaptable fittings
Figure 4 ID
Jet type
Part number
Jet tip id
Length
1
Capillary with extended jet
(recommended)
G1534-80590
0.29 mm (0.11 inch)
70.5 mm
2
Capillary
19244-80560
0.29 mm (0.011 inch)
61.5 mm
3
Capillary, high-temperature
19244-80620
0.47 mm (0.018 inch)
61.5 mm
4
Packed
18710-20119
0.46 mm (0.018 inch)
63.6 mm
70.5 mm
1
61.5 mm
2
61.5 mm
3
1
63.6 mm
2
3
4
4
Figure 2
Adaptable NPD jets
To configure the NPD
In addition to the Ignore Ready and Makeup gas type, the NPD
requires the following configuration settings. Scroll to each
and enable/disable using [On/Yes] or [Off/No].
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Auto Adjust Bead Recommended On. When On, the automatic
adjust offset process starts when the bead reaches the
temperature setpoint after having been turned off or cooled
below 150 °C. Auto adjust starts after Dry Bead hold time, if
enabled. Auto Adjust Bead uses the adjust offset feature to
protect the bead—especially new beads—by making sure that
the desired offset is obtained with the lowest possible bead
voltage. When Off, the bead voltage will rise as soon as the
Dry Bead time elapses, or as soon as the temperature
setpoint is reached if Dry Bead is off.
Dry Bead Recommended On. When On, the bead temperature
holds at 150 °C for 5 minutes before continuing to the
setpoint. This allows any condensation to evaporate and be
swept out of the detector.
Blos Bead If using a Blos bead, set to On. For ceramic
beads, set to Off. The Blos Bead On setting restricts the
allowable bead voltage to the range appropriate for this
bead.
Maximum Bead Voltage Display only. Shows the current
maximum bead voltage for the configured bead type (4.095 V
for ceramic beads, 1.1 V for the Blos bead).
Automatically adjusting NPD bead voltage
Agilent recommends using the Adjust offset feature to
automatically determine the lowest bead voltage needed to
give the desired response.
When the detector is turned on, the temperature rises at a
controlled rate.
• If Dry Bead is On, temperature holds at 150 °C for 5
minutes to drive off moisture, then continues to the
setpoint.
• If Dry Bead is Off, the temperature rises directly to the
setpoint.
When the temperature reaches the setpoint, the Bead Voltage
gradually rises until it produces the desired output.
Adjust offset
When you enter a value here, or press [On/Yes] to use the
stored value, detector gas flows turn on, the bead heats, and
the bead voltage adjusts until Output is stable and equal to
the entered value. There are five stages of Adjust offset.
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Detector off When the detector is off, Adjust offset and Bead
voltage are Off and initial Output is displayed.
Detector on—detector temperature less than 150 °C. When you
enter an Adjust offset value or press [On], detector gases turn
on and the display blinks the Temp not ready message.
Detector on—waiting for oven and/or detector to reach temperature
setpoint and equilibrium. If the oven or detector is not at
setpoint, the display continues to blink the Temp not ready
message.
Detector on—Dry Bead On If Dry Bead is On, the temperature
rise holds at 150 °C for 5 minutes to remove moisture, then
continues to the setpoint.
Detector on—during adjust offset. When the detector and oven
temperatures reach setpoint and equilibrate, the Adjust
offset process begins. The bead voltage is slowly increased
until the output is close to the Adjust offset value. The display
blinks Detector Slewing.
Detector on and ready. When the Adjust offset value is reached,
the Adjust offset line reads Done and displays the offset target
setpoint. Your detector is on and ready. The display shows
the actual Bead voltage.
Setting NPD adjust offset on the clock table
You can use the Clock table feature to begin Adjust offset at a
specified time.
Aborting NPD adjust offset
Press [Delete] with the cursor on the Adjust offset line. This
cancels the adjustment without turning off the detector gases
and bead voltage.
Extending the NPD bead life
These actions, together with the automated heatup and
adjust procedures, can extend ceramic bead life considerably.
• Use the lowest practical Adjust offset value. This will result
in a lower Bead Voltage during operation.
• Run clean samples.
• Turn the bead off when not in use.
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• Keep the detector temperature high (320 to 335 °C).
• Turn the hydrogen flow off during solvent peaks and
between runs.
Turning hydrogen off during a solvent peak
When using the NPD, the baseline shifts after a solvent peak
and can take some time to stabilize, especially with
chlorinated solvents. To minimize this effect, turn off the
hydrogen flow during the solvent peak and turn it back on
after the solvent elutes. With this technique, the baseline
recovers to its original value in less than 30 seconds. This
also extends the life of the bead. The hydrogen can be
turned on and off automatically as part of a Run Table. See
“Run Time Programming” on page 16.
Turning hydrogen off between runs
To extend bead life, turn off the hydrogen flow between
runs. Leave all other flows and the detector temperature on.
Turn on the hydrogen flow for the next run; the bead will
ignite almost immediately. The process can be automated
with Run Table entries.
Turning off the detector
CAUTION
If you turn Adjust offset [Off] at any time, the bead voltage,
hydrogen, and air flows all turn off.
Setting the initial bead voltage for new beads
Before you turn on the bead for the first time, manually set
its voltage to a safe value so that the new bead is not
destroyed.
1 Make sure Adjust Offset is turned Off.
2
After the temperature stabilizes at setpoint, set the initial
Bead Voltage, depending on bead type:
• Blos bead: 0.0 V to 0.5 V
• Ceramic bead (white or black): 0.0 V to 2.0 V
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Setting NPD bead voltage manually (optional)
Bead voltage shows the voltage used to heat the bead. It can
be a value derived from the Adjust offset value, or can be
entered as a setpoint. Entering a setpoint causes the voltage
to change at 13 mV/second until it reaches the setpoint
provided that
• the detector is at the temperature setpoint
• temperature is at least 150 °C
• gas flows are on
• Dry Bead time, if On, has elapsed
Bead voltage is also useful for small adjustments between
runs. If you observe a baseline drift, you can enter a small,
one- time change to compensate for the drift.
If you are not using the recommended Adjust offset process,
note that large voltage jumps reduce bead life. Use
increments no greater than 0.05 V, spaced 10 seconds apart,
until you reach the desired offset.
New beads
After a new bead reaches the initial voltage, begin to
increase the voltage value in 0.05 V increments until the
bead ignites. Wait about 10 seconds between each voltage
adjustment. Monitor the detector output. When the bead
ignites, the output will rise suddenly, then decrease towards
a more stable value. It is best to allow the NPD to remain in
this state without further adjustment for about 24 hours.
Then you may adjust the bead voltage in small increments
(0.05 to 0.1 V) until reaching the desired offset. With a clean
environment, clean gas supplies, and low bleed column, a
typical offset may decrease 6- 12 pA during a 24 hour
period.
Typical voltages for new ceramic beads range from 2.5 to
3.7 volts. Higher values reduce bead life.
Typical voltages for new Blos beads range from 0.5 to 1.0 V.
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About the FPD
The sample burns in a hydrogen- rich flame, where some
species are reduced and excited. The gas flow moves the
excited species to a cooler emission zone above the flame
where they decay and emit light. A narrow bandpass filter
selects light unique to one species, while a shield prevents
intense carbon emission from reaching the photomultiplier
tube (PMT).
The light strikes a photosensitive surface in the PMT where
a light photon knocks loose an electron. The electron is
amplified inside the PMT for an overall gain of up to a
million.
H2
Makeup
Frit
Frit
Valve
Valve
Air
EPC Module
Frit
Vent
Valve
Emission Zone
PS
PS
PS
Restrictor
Wavelength filter
Window
Restrictor
PS = Pressure Sensor
Restrictor
Column
The current from the PMT is amplified and digitized by the
FPD electronics board. The signal is available either as a
digital signal on the communications output or as a voltage
signal on the analog output.
The FPD should not be stored at temperatures above 50 °C,
based on the original manufacturer’s specifications for the
PMT.
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FPD linearity
Several mechanisms produce sulfur emission. The excited
species is diatomic, so that emission intensity is
approximately proportional to the square of the sulfur atom
concentration.
The excited species in the phosphorus mode is monatomic,
leading to a linear relationship between emission intensity
and atom concentration.
FPD Lit Offset
The default Lit Offset is 2.0 pA.
Starting Up and Shutting Down the FPD
The FPD creates a great deal of water vapor when the flame
is on. This could condense in the vent tube on top of the
detector and drop onto the flame, possibly extinguishing it.
To avoid this, turn the heaters on, wait 20 minutes for the
vent to heat up, and then ignite the flame. Water vapor will
now make it over the top of the vent tube before condensing.
For similar reasons, extinguish the flame before turning the
heaters off.
FPD photomultiplier protection
The PMT is extremely sensitive to light. Always turn the PMT
voltage off (which turns off the high voltage to the PMT)
before removing the PMT housing or opening the emissions
chamber. Failing to do this can destroy the PMT.
Even with the PMT voltage off, protect the PMT from room
light. Cap the housing when removed, place it end down to
exclude light, reduce room light level before exposing the
PMT, and so on. A brief exposure (always with the PMT
voltage turned off) will not damage it but prolonged exposure
will cause a gradual loss of sensitivity.
FPD optical filters
The filters are marked on the edge with the transmission
wavelength. Each filter has a small arrow on its side which
must point toward the PMT when installed.
The sulfur filter is silvery on both sides and transmits at
393 nanometers.
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The phosphorus filter is yellow/green and transmits at
525 nanometers.
Inlet liners for use with the FPD
Compounds containing sulfur may adsorb on an inlet liner
and degrade the GC’s performance. Use deactivated, clean
liners or a cool on- column inlet, which injects directly onto
the column.
For best results with splitless injection, use liner 5181- 3316.
FPD temperature considerations
The minimum detector temperature to prevent water
condensation is 120 °C. We recommend a temperature that
is 25 °C higher than the highest column temperature, but no
higher than 250 °C.
FPD gas purity
High- purity gases have a lower sulfur content. Standard
purity gases have a higher sulfur content which impairs
sulfur detection in the compound being studied. Instrument
or Chromatographic grades work well.
Agilent recommends using helium carrier, nitrogen makeup
gas, and air with 99.9995% purity or better. Use carbon,
oxygen, and moisture traps. Select traps to remove sulfur
compounds from detector air and nitrogen gases. A helium
getter is also recommended.
FPD gas flows
Table 71 gives the flows for the maximum sensitivity FPD
flame, which is hydrogen- rich and oxygen- poor.
Table 71
Recommended flows
Sulfur mode flows,
mL/min
Phosphorus mode
flows, mL/min
Carrier (hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, argon)
Packed columns
10 to 60
10 to 60
Capillary columns
1 to 5
1 to 5
Detector gases
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Table 71
10
Recommended flows (continued)
Sulfur mode flows,
mL/min
Phosphorus mode
flows, mL/min
Hydrogen
50
75
Air
60
100
Carrier + makeup
60
60
Helium, either as carrier or makeup gas, may cool the
detector gases below the ignition temperature. We
recommend using nitrogen rather than helium.
Lighting the FPD flame
Before trying to light the flame, have the detector at
operating temperature. Removing the condensate tubing may
help, but be sure to replace it before making runs.
It is difficult to light the flame with the flows shown in
Table 71, particularly in the sulfur mode. If the flame will
not light with the sulfur mode flows shown, change to the
phosphorus mode flows. After ignition, gradually reduce the
flows to the sulfur values. Some experimentation will be
needed.
When either of the flame ignition methods in this section is
used, the FPD automatically performs this sequence:
1 Turns all detector gases—air, hydrogen, makeup—off.
Carrier remains on.
2
Sets air flow to 200 mL/min.
3
Turns the glow plug ignitor on.
4
Ramps the hydrogen flow from 10 to 70 mL/min.
5
Resets the air flow to the air flow setpoint.
6
Resets the hydrogen flow to the hydrogen flow setpoint.
7
Turns the makeup gas on.
8
Compares the signal change with the Lit offset value. If the
change is greater than Lit offset, declares the flame on
(lit). If it is less, declares the flame off (not lit).
For this process to work, there must be enough air pressure
to the pneumatics module to provide 200 mL/min flow. We
recommend a supply pressure of 90 psi.
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10 Detectors
Manual ignition
1 Press [Front Det] or [Back Det].
2
Scroll to Flame. Press [On/Yes]. The flame ignition
sequence begins.
Automatic ignition
If the FPD output with the flame on falls below the
flame- off output plus the Lit offset value, this is interpreted
as a flame- out condition. The FPD runs the flame ignition
sequence to relight the flame. If this fails, it runs the
sequence again. If the second attempt also fails, the detector
shuts down all functions except temperature and makeup gas
flow.
Setting parameters for the FPD
WA R N I N G
Verify that a column is installed or the FPD fitting is plugged
before turning on the air or hydrogen. An explosion may occur if
air and hydrogen are allowed to leak into the oven.
1 Press [Front det] or [Back det].
2
Set the detector temperature. It must be greater than
120 °C for the flame to light.
3
Change the hydrogen flow rate, if desired. Press [Off/No].
4
Change the air flow rate, if desired. Press [Off/No].
5
If you are using packed columns, turn off the makeup gas
and proceed to step 7.
6
If you are using capillary columns:
a Verify that makeup gas type is the same as that
plumbed to your instrument (next to Makeup in the
parameter list). Change the gas type, if necessary.
b If your capillary column is defined, choose a flow
mode and set the makeup gas flow or combined flow.
c If your capillary column is not defined, enter a makeup
gas flow. Only constant flow is available.
7
Scroll to Flame and press [On/Yes]. This turns on the air
and hydrogen and initiates the ignition sequence.
On ignition, the signal increases. Typical levels are 4 to
40 pA in sulfur mode, 10 to 70 pA in phosphorus mode.
Verify that the flame is lit by holding a cold, shiny
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Detectors
10
surface, such as a mirror or chrome- plated wrench, over
the vent exit. Steady condensation indicates that the
flame is lit.
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11
Valves
About Valves 352
The Valve Box 353
Heating the valves 353
Valve temperature programming 353
Configuring an Aux thermal zone 354
Valve Control 355
The valve drivers 355
The internal valve drivers 355
The external valve drivers 356
Valve Types 357
Configuring a Valve 358
Controlling a Valve 359
From the keyboard 359
From the run or clock time tables 359
Simple valve: column selection 359
Gas sampling valve 360
Multiposition stream selection valve with sampling valve 361
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11 Valves
About Valves
Valves may be used to alter the usual inlet/column/detector
flow path in the GC. Sampling valves can replace the inlet,
switching valves can select columns, multiposition valves,
used in conjunction with sampling valves, can perform the
same functions for sample streams that an ALS performs for
liquid samples.
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Valves
The Valve Box
The GC holds up to four valves in a heated valve box on top
of the oven.
The valve box is the preferred location for valves because it
is a stable temperature zone, isolated from the column oven.
Back of chromatograph
Valve heater
blocks
Valve box,
cover removed
Figure 3
Diagram of valve locations on GC
Valves may also be mounted inside the column oven.
Heating the valves
The valve box contains two heated blocks, each with two
valve mounting locations (shaded in Figure 3). The middle
hole on each block is used to pass tubing into the column
oven.
If two valves are used, mount them on the same block. This
allows them to be heated using only one control channel
(Aux Temp 1 or Aux Temp 2, depending on how the heaters are
wired). With more than two valves, both channels must be
used for heating the two blocks. Set them at the same
temperature.
Valve temperature programming
Most valve applications are isothermal; however, you can
define three temperature ramps if desired. Press [Aux Temp
#], then [1] or [2]. Program this ramp the same as an oven
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11 Valves
ramp. Refer to “Setting the oven parameters for ramped
temperature” on page 296 for more information.
Configuring an Aux thermal zone
To configure a thermal Aux zone (1 or 2), press [Config][Aux
Temp #], then [1] or [2]. Press [Mode/Type], then select the
type of device to be controlled. Press [Enter].
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11
Valve Control
Valves can be controlled manually from the keyboard or as
part of a clock or run time program. Note that only sampling
valves automatically reset at the end of a run. Other valve
types remain at the new position until activated again. For
other valve types, you must include any desired resets in the
program.
The valve drivers
A valve driver is the software and circuitry in the GC that
controls a valve or related function. There are eight drivers
known as Valve 1 through Valve 8.
Table 72
Valve drivers
Valve number
Type
Volts
Power or current
Use
1, 2, 3, and 4
Current source
24 VDC
13 watts
Pneumatic valve
control
5 and 6
Current source
24 VDC
100 mA
Relays and low-power
devices
7 and 8
Contact closure
48 VDC or 48 VAC
RMS
Control an external
current source
The internal valve drivers
Valve drivers 1 through 4 are usually used to control
pneumatically operated valves mounted in the valve box. The
wiring for these appears at a set of connectors inside the
right cover of the GC.
Pneumatically driven valves are controlled by solenoids
mounted near the connectors that control the flow of air to
the valve actuators.
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11 Valves
Keyboard
Connector V1
or
Connector V2
Run table
Internal valve drivers
(1 through 4)
Connector V3
or
Connector V4
Clock table
There is no direct relationship between the location of a
valve in the valve box and the driver that controls it. This
depends on how the solenoids are wired and the actuators
are plumbed.
Manual valves must be switch by hand, and are heated or
unheated.
The external valve drivers
Valve drivers 5 and 6 control a current that may be used to
drive a relay or other low- power device. Valve drivers 7 and
8 switch a current from an external source. Electrical details
are in Table 72 on page 355.
These drivers, particularly Valve 7 and 8, may be used to
control a motor driven multiposition valve for stream
selection.
All four of these drivers appear on the External Event
connector on the back of the GC.
Keyboard
Valve 5 (pin 1) and
ground (pin 3 or 4)
or
Run table
356
External valve drivers
(5 through 8)
Valve 6 (pin 2) and
ground (pin 3 or 4)
or
Valve 7 (pin 5
and pin 6)
Clock table
Valve 8 (pin 7
and pin 8)
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Valves
11
Valve Types
There possible valve types are:
Sampling A two- position (load and inject) valve. In load
position, an external sample stream flows through an
attached (gas sampling) or internal (liquid sampling) loop
and out to waste. In inject position, the filled sampling loop
is inserted into the carrier gas stream. When the valve
switches from Load to Inject, it starts a run if one is not
already in progress. See the example on page 360.
Switching A two- position valve with four, six, or more
ports. These are general- purpose valves used for such tasks
as column selection, column isolation, and many others. For
an example of valve control, see page 361.
Multiposition Also called a stream selection valve. It is
usually used to select one from a number of gas streams and
feed it to a sampling valve for analysis. It has a special
actuator that advances the valve one position each time it is
activated, or it may be motor driven. An example that
combines a stream selection valve with a gas sampling valve
is on page 361.
Other
Could be anything.
Not installed
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Self- explanatory.
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11 Valves
Configuring a Valve
1 Press [Config]. Scroll to Valve #.
358
2
Enter the valve number and press [Enter]. The current
valve type is displayed.
3
To change the valve type, press [Mode/Type], select the
new valve type, and press [Enter].
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Valves
11
Controlling a Valve
From the keyboard
Valves (except multiposition valves) have two positions
controlled by the [On] and [Off] keys. The keyboard
commands for two- position valves are:
[Valve #] <scroll to the valve> [On]
stop
Rotates valve to one
and
[Valve #] <scroll to the valve> [Off]
other stop
Rotates valve to the
From the run or clock time tables
The Valve On and Valve Off commands can be run time or clock
time programmed. See “Run Time Programming” on page 16
and “Clock Time Programming” on page 19.
If a valve is rotated by a run time program, it is not
automatically returned to its initial position at the end of
the run. You must program this reset operation yourself.
Simple valve: column selection
This is the plumbing for a single valve, configured as a
switching valve, that selects one of two columns for analysis.
It has no configuration parameters.
Front column
From inlet or
sampling valve
To detector
ON
OFF
Back column
The column is selected by pressing:
[Valve #] <scroll to valve #> [On] (for the front column) or
[Off] (for the back column).
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11 Valves
Use a run table entry to ensure that the valve is in the Off
state between runs.
Gas sampling valve
If a valve is configured as a gas sampling valve, it starts a
run automatically when it is switched to the Inject position.
This can be done with a keyboard command or by a
subsequence or clock table entry. You may have two gas
sampling valves installed.
To column
Carrier in
LOAD position
INJECT position
Loop
Sample in
Sample out
Load position The loop is flushed with a stream of the
sample gas. The column is flushed with carrier gas.
Inject position The filled loop is inserted into the carrier gas
stream. The sample is flushed onto the column. The run
starts automatically.
Carrier gas may be provided by an (optional) auxiliary gas
channel. To do this, configure the column and specify an
Aux # channel as the inlet. The channel then becomes
programmable with four operating modes.
Sampling valves have two positions:
Load position The loop (external for gas sampling, internal
for liquid sampling) is flushed with a stream of the sample.
The column is flushed with carrier gas.
Inject position The filled loop is inserted into the carrier gas
stream. The sample is flushed onto the column. The run
starts automatically.
The sampling valve control parameters are:
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Valves
Load time Time in minutes that the valve remains in the
Load position before becoming ready.
Inject time Time in minutes that the valve remains in the
Inject position before returning to the Load position.
The sampling valve cycle is:
1 The sampling valve rotates to the Load position. Load time
begins. Valve is not ready.
2
Load time ends. The valve becomes ready.
3
If everything else is ready, the GC becomes ready. If
anything is not ready:
• If you are using Clock Table or sequence control, the
GC waits until everything is ready, then executes the
valve inject command.
• If you are not using Clock Table or sequence control,
the valve injection can be made at any time from the
keyboard.
4
The sampling valve rotates (keyboard command or
sequence control) to the Inject position. Inject time begins.
The run begins.
5
Inject time ends. Return to step 1.
Multiposition stream selection valve with sampling valve
Several manufacturers provide multiposition stream selection
valves that can be driven by valve drivers 1 through 4. Only
one multiposition valve can be configured.
If a valve is configured as a multiposition valve and has a
BCD position output connected to the GC, the valve position
can be selected directly.
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11 Valves
Sampling valve
Multiposition stream
selection valve
Sample streams in
Selected stream out
If the GC has one valve configured as a multiposition valve
and another configured as a gas or liquid sampling valve, it
assumes that they are to be used in series. This “double
configuration” can be used to replace an automatic liquid
sampler and sample tray in an analytical sequence. The
multiposition valve becomes the sample tray; the sampling
valve becomes the injector.
Two configuration parameters provide mechanical and
electrical compatibility with most multiposition valve
actuators.
Switching time In seconds, is a delay between successive
actuator movements. It allows time for the actuator
mechanism to prepare for the next movement.
Invert BCD Complements the BCD input; 1’s become 0’s and
0’s become 1’s. This accommodates coding convention
differences among manufacturers.
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7683B Sampler
About the 7683B Sampler 364
Setting Parameters for the ALS 365
Solvent Saver 366
Sample tray setpoints 367
Storing setpoints 367
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12 7683B Sampler
About the 7683B Sampler
The 7683B Automatic Liquid Sampler (ALS) is controlled by
a sequence that specifies what samples are to be analyzed,
where the sample vials are located in the sampler tray (if
used), what methods are to be used for each sample, and
possibly what to do after the last sample to clean out the
column. See “Creating Sequences” on page 121 for more
information on sequences.
Hardware
Consult the 7683B for all mechanical details, such as
installing/removing the tray, injectors, bar code reader,
syringes, and so on. Follow the instructions for the 6890N
GC.
Software
The new 7890A parameters are described in this chapter.
Follow these instructions for all non- mechanical operations.
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7683B Sampler
Setting Parameters for the ALS
Pressing either of the injector keys allows you to edit
injector control setpoints, such as injection volumes, sample
and solvent washes, etc.
To edit the injector setpoints:
1 Press [Front Injector] or [Back Injector].
2
Scroll to the desired setpoint.
3
Enter a setpoint value, or turn the setpoint On or Off.
4
Press [Mode/Type] to make selections for syringe size and
syringe plunger speed.
Injection volume Sample volume to be injected. Press
[Mode/Type] to select. The available volumes depend on the
syringe size configured.
• The selections represent 2%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%
of syringe size.
• Turn the injection volume Off to disable the injector.
Viscosity delay (0-7 seconds) How long the plunger pauses at
the top of the pump and injection strokes. For viscous
samples, the pause allows the sample to flow into the
vacuum created in the syringe.
Inject Dispense Speed The speed of the syringe plunger
during injection. Enables you to reduce the average speed of
the plunger. Press [Mode/Type] to see the choices. The
plunger speed during the pump and waste dispensing does
not change.
Sample pumps (0-15) How many times the syringe plunger is
moved up and down with the needle in the sample to expel
air bubbles and improve reproducibility.
Sample washes (0-15) How many times the syringe is rinsed
with sample before the injection. The wash volume is set by
the Solvent Saver setting.
Solvent A post washes (0-15) How many times the syringe is
washed with solvent A after injection.
Solvent A pre washes (0-15) How many times the syringe is
washed with solvent A before the sample washes.
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12 7683B Sampler
Solvent B post washes (0-15) How many times the syringe is
washed with solvent B after any solvent A washes.
Solvent B pre washes (0-15) How many times the syringe is
washed with solvent B after any solvent A prewashes and
before the sample washes.
Solvent B wash volume The percent of the syringe volume to
be used for solvent B washes.
Sample Draw Speed Speed of the syringe plunger when
drawing in sample.
Sample Disp Speed Speed of the syringe plunger when
dispensing sample.
Solvent Draw Speed Speed of the syringe plunger when
drawing in solvent.
Solvent Disp Speed Speed of the syringe plunger when
dispensing solvent.
Pre dwell time (0-1) How long, in minutes, the needle
remains in the inlet before the injection.
Post dwell time (0-1) How long, in minutes, the needle
remains in the inlet after injection.
Sample offset (-2 to 30, Off) Sets variable sampling depth.
Injection Reps (1-99) How many times the injection and
analysis should be repeated from each vial.
Injection Delay Time between multiple injections. Availability
depends on the inlet type.
Solvent Saver
If you enter a non- zero value for any of the solvent or
sample washes, the GC will ask for the wash volume. The
default is 80% of the syringe volume. Press [Mode/Type] to
see the other choices. This function allows you to conserve
solvent during the washes.
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Sample tray setpoints
The sample tray delivers sample vials to the front and rear
injectors according to the defined sequence parameters.
There is a separate set of sequence parameters for each
injector. The sample tray delivers vials to the front injector
before the rear injector. Stored sequences and bar code
configurations can be used to tell the sample tray where to
deliver and retrieve sample vials.
Enable bar code
Turns the bar code reader on or off.
1 Press [Sample tray] to access the sample tray and bar code
reader setpoints.
2
Press [On] or [Off] to enable or disable the tray.
3
Press [On] or [Off] to enable or disable the bar code
reader.
Storing setpoints
After setting up injector setpoints, sample tray setpoints and
bar code reader configurations, store them as part of a
method by following the procedures in To store a method
from the keypad. This method becomes a part of the
sequence used to run the samples.
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Cables
About Cables and Back Panel Connectors 370
Back panel connectors 370
Sampler connectors 370
The AUX connector 370
Signal connectors 371
REMOTE connector 371
EVENT connector 371
BCD input connector 371
RS-232 connector 371
LAN connector 371
Using the Remote Start/Stop cable 372
Cable Diagrams 377
Analog cable, general use 377
Remote start/stop cable 377
BCD cable 378
External event cable 379
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13 Cables
About Cables and Back Panel Connectors
Some parts of an analysis system are connected to the GC
by cables. These cables and the back panel connectors to
which they connect are described in this section.
Back panel connectors
These are the connectors on the back panel of the GC:
SIG 1
SIG 2
SAMPLER 1
SAMPLER 2
TRAY
REMOTE
AUX
EVENT
BCD
LAN
RS-232
Sampler connectors
If using an ALS, connect to the GC using the following
connectors:
SAMPLER 1 An injector, usually the front injector. (For
7693A, the configuration does not matter. For a the 7683,
typically configured as INJ1.)
SAMPLER 2 A second injector, usually the back injector. (For
7693A, the configuration does not matter. For a the 7683,
typically configured as INJ2.)
TRAY
The sample tray and (optional) barcode reader.
The AUX connector
This connector is reserved for future development.
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Signal connectors
SIG1 and SIG2 are for the two analog output signals.
REMOTE connector
Provides a port to remotely start and stop other
instruments. A maximum of 10 instruments can be
synchronized using this connector. See “Using the Remote
Start/Stop cable” on page 372 for more detail.
EVENT connector
This connector provides two passive contact closures and
two 24- volt outputs for controlling external devices. The
outputs are controlled by valve drivers 5 through 8.
BCD input connector
This connector provides two control relays and a BCD input
for a stream selection valve.
CAUTION
This connector is similar to the EVENT connector. Plugging a
non BCD cable into the BCD connector can damage the GC.
RS-232 connector
This connector is reserved for future development.
LAN connector
Standard Local Area Network connector, for communication
with data systems and other devices.
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13 Cables
Using the Remote Start/Stop cable
Remote start/stop is used to synchronize two or more
instruments. For example, you might connect an integrator
and the GC so that the [Start]/[Stop] buttons on either
instrument control both of them. You can synchronize a
maximum of ten instruments using Remote cables.
Connecting Agilent products
If connecting two Agilent products with Remote cables, the
sending and receiving circuits will be compatible—just plug in
both ends of the cable.
Connecting non-Agilent products
If connecting to a non- Agilent product, the following
paragraphs contain information you will need to ensure
compatibility.
APG Remote signal electrical specifications
The APG signals are a modified open collector type. The
signal levels are generally TTL levels (low voltage is logic
zero, high voltage is logic one) but the open circuit voltage
will be between 2.5 and 3.7 Volts. The typical voltage is 3
Volts. A voltage over 2.2 volts will be interpreted as a high
logic state while a voltage below 0.4 volts will be interpreted
as a low logic state. These levels provide some margin over
the specifications of the devices used.
The pull- up resistance, connected to the open- circuit voltage,
is in the range of about 1K ohms to 1.5K ohms. For a
logic- low state, for a single device on the bus, the minimum
current you must be able to sink is 3.3 milliamps. Since
devices are connected in parallel, when you have multiple
devices this minimum current must be multiplied by the
number of devices attached on the bus. The maximum
voltage for a low- input state = 0.4V.
The bus is passively pulled high. Leakage current out of a
port must be less than 0.2 milliamps to keep the voltage
from being pulled lower than 2.2 volts. Higher leakage
current may cause the state to be interpreted as a low.
Over- voltage protection - APG Remote connections are
clamped by a zener diode to 5.6 Volts. Exceeding this voltage
will damage the circuit (main board).
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13
Cables
APG Remote - Suggested drive circuits
A signal on the APG bus may be driven by another APG
device or by one of the following circuits:
• A relay, with one side connected to ground, when closed
will set a logic- low state.
• An NPN transistor, with the emitter connected to ground
and the collector connected to the signal line will set a
logic- low state if proper base current is supplied.
• An open- collector logic gate will perform this same
function.
• A low- side drive IC will also work, but Darlington- type
drivers should be avoided as they will not meet the
low- side voltage requirement of less than 0.4V
APG Remote connector
Pin
1
5
6
9
Function
Logic
1
Digital ground
2
Prepare
LOW true
3
Start
LOW true (input)
4
Start relay
5
Start relay
6
not used
7
Ready
HIGH true (output)
8
Stop
LOW true
9
not used
APG Remote signal descriptions
Prepare (Low True) Request to prepare for analysis. Receiver
is any module performing pre- analysis activities. For
example, shorting pin 2 to ground will put the GC into Prep
Run state. This is useful for Splitless Mode to prepare the
inlet for injection or when using the Gas Saver. This function
is not needed by Agilent autosampler systems.
Ready (High True) If The Ready Line is high (> 2.2 VDC)
then the system is ready for next analysis. Receiver is any
sequence controller.
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13 Cables
Start (Low True) Request to start run/timetable. Receiver is
any module performing runtime- controlled activities. The
7890A GC requires a pulse duration of at least 500
micro- seconds to sense a start from an external device.
Start Relay (Contact Closure) A 120 millisecond contact
closure – used as an isolated output to start another device
that is not compatible or connected with APG Remote pin 3.
Stop (Low True) Request to reach system ready state as soon
as possible (for example, stop run, abort or finish, and stop
injection). Receiver is any module performing
runtime- controlled activities. Normally this line is not
connected, if the GC oven program is used to control the
method Stop time.
Prepare
System Ready
Waiting for Ready
Postrun
Runtime elapsed/Start
Run
Injection/Start
Injection cycle started
Start Requested
System Ready
Not Ready during Prep
Request for Prepare
System Ready
Waiting for Ready
APG Remote timing diagram
H
L
Start
H
L
Stop
H
L
H
Ready
374
H
H
L
Advanced User Guide
Cables
13
Connecting Cables
Connect a GC to an Agilent data system computer using
LAN communications using a LAN cable. See Figure 4 below.
LAN hub/switch
Crossover LAN cable 5183-4648
LAN cable
8121-0940
LAN cable
8121-0940
Computer
GC
Figure 4
Computer
GC
Connecting the GC and computer with a hub/switch (shown at left) or a crossover cable (shown at
right).
Table 73
Typical IP addresses for an isolated LAN
GC
Computer
IP address
10.1.1.101
10.1.1.100
Subnet mask
255.255.255.0
255.255.255.0
A single communications LAN cable is supplied with the GC.
The switch (or hub) and other cables must be ordered
separately, if needed. See Table 73 and Table 74 for cabling
requirements for other configurations.
Table 74
Advanced User Guide
Cabling requirements
7890A GC connected to:
Required Cable(s)
Part number
7693A Automatic Liquid
Sampler
Injector cable or tray
cable
G4514-60610
7683 Automatic Liquid
Sampler
Injector cable is integral
Tray cable
7697A Headspace
Sampler
Remote, 9-pin
male/6-pin connector
G1530-60930
G1289B/G1290B
Headspace Sampler
Remote, 9-pin
male/6-pin connector
G1530-60930
G2614-60610
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Table 74
Table 75
Cabling requirements (continued)
7890A GC connected to:
Required Cable(s)
Part number
7695 Purge and Trap
Sampler
Remote, 25-pin
male/9-pin male
G1500-60820
CTC automatic sampler
Remote,
3395B/3396C Integrator
Remote, 9 pin/15 pin
Analog, 2 m, 6 pin
03396-61010
G1530-60570
Non-Agilent
Integrator
General purpose analog
signal cable
2 m, 6 pin
G1530-60560
Mass Selective Detector
Remote, 2-m, 9-pin
male/9-pin male
G1530-60930
Non-Agilent
data system
General use remote,
9-pin male/spade lugs
(various lengths)
35900-60670 (2 m),
35900-60920 (5 m),
35900-60930 (0.5 m)
Non-Agilent
instrument, unspecified
External event, 8
pin/spade lugs
G1530-60590
Stream selection valves
Gas sampling valves
See documentation
accompanying the valve
LAN
Cable, networking CAT 5, 8121-0940
25 feet
Cable, LAN, crossover
5183-4648
Cabling for other instruments in a 7890A system
Instrument 1
Instrument 2
Type of cable
Part no.
Modem
PC
Modem, 9-pin
female/9-pin male, or
Modem, 9-pin
female/25-pin male
G1530-61120,
or
24540-80012
Mass Selective Detector
Purge & Trap or
Headspace sampler
Splitter ("Y") cable for
remote, 1 male and 2
female connectors
G1530-61200
Splitter ("H") cable for
35900-60800
APG remote, 2 male and 2
female connectors
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13
Cable Diagrams
Analog cable, general use
Connector 1
Connector 2
The pin assignments for the general use analog out cable are
listed in Table 76.
Table 76
Analog cable, general use, output connections
Connector 1
Connector 2, wire color
Signal
1
Brown or violet
Not used
2
White
0 to 1 V, 0 to 10 V (–)
3
Red
Not used
4
Black
1 V (+)
6
Blue
10 V (+)
Shell
Orange
Ground
Remote start/stop cable
Connector 1
Connector 2
The pin assignments for the remote start/stop cable are
listed in Table 77.
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13 Cables
Table 77
Remote start/stop cable connections
Connector 1, 9-pin male
Connector 2, wire color
Signal
1
Black
Digital ground
2
White
Prepare (low tone)
3
Red
Start (low tone)
4
Green
Start relay (closed during
start)
5
Brown
Start relay (closed during
start)
6
Blue
Open circuit
7
Orange
Ready (high true input)
8
Yellow
Stop (low tone)
9
Violet
Open circuit
BCD cable
The BCD cable (G1530- 60590) connector has eight passive
inputs that sense total binary- coded decimal levels. The pin
assignments for this connector are listed in Table 78.
Table 78
378
BCD input connections
Pin
Function
Maximum rating
1
Relay
48 V AC/DC, 250 mA
2
Relay
48 V AC/DC, 250 mA
3
LS digit 0
4
LS digit 1
5
LS digit 2
6
LS digit 3
7
MS digit 0
8
Ground
Shield
Chassis ground
Advanced User Guide
13
Cables
External event cable
6
3
7
4
1
8
5
2
Connector 1
Connector 2
The external event cable (G1530- 60590) has two passive
relay contact closures with two 24- volt control outputs.
Devices connected to the passive contact closures must be
connected to their own power sources.
The pin assignments for this cable are listed in Table 79.
Table 79
External events cable
Connector 1 pin
Signal name
Maximum rating
Connector 2, wire
color
Controlled by valve #
1
24 V output 1
150 mA
Yellow
5
2
24 V output 1
150 mA
Black
6
3
Ground
Red
4
Ground
White
24 volts output
Relay contact closures (normally open)
5
Closure 1
6
Closure 1
7
Closure 2
8
Closure 2
Advanced User Guide
48 V AC/DC, 250 mA
48 V AC/DC, 250 mA
Orange
7
Green
7
Brown or violet
8
Blue
8
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Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
14
GC Output Signals
About Signals 382
Signal Types 383
Value 383
Analog Signals 385
Analog zero 385
Analog range 385
Analog data rates 386
Selecting fast peaks (analog output) 387
Digital Signals 388
Digital zero 388
Signal Freeze and Resume 388
Data rates with Agilent data systems 389
Column Compensation 392
Creating a column compensation profile 393
Making a run using analog output column compensation 393
Plotting a stored column compensation profile 394
Test Plot 395
Agilent Technologies
381
14 GC Output Signals
About Signals
Signal is the GC output to a data handling device, analog or
digital. It can be a detector output or the output from flow,
temperature, or pressure sensors. Two signal output
channels are provided.
Signal output can be either analog or digital, depending on
your data handling device. Analog output is available at
either of two speeds, suitable to peaks with minimum widths
of 0.004 minutes (fast data rate) or 0.01 minutes (normal
rate). Analog output ranges are 0 to 1 V, 0 to 10 V, and 0 to
1 mV.
Digital output rates are set by your Agilent data system,
such as ChemStation or EZChrom.
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GC Output Signals
14
Signal Types
When assigning detector signals, use the [Mode/Type] key and
choose from the Signal Type parameter list, or press a key
or combination of keys.
[Front], [Back], [–], and [Column Comp] will work, alone or in
combination. For example, press [Back] for back detector or
[Back][–][Front] for back detector minus front detector. The
menu choices for signal subtraction (Front - Back and Back Front) only appear if the front and back detectors are of the
same type.
The nondetector signals are test plot, thermal, pneumatic,
and diagnostic. Access them by pressing [Mode/Type].
Diagnostic signals are for use by your service representative
and are not described in detail here.
Signal type can be programmed as a run time event.
Value
Value on the signal parameter list is the same as Output on
the detector parameter list if your signal type is Front or
Back. If you are subtracting one signal from another (as in
Front – Back), the signal Value will be the difference. You
cannot enter a setpoint for Value.
A conversion factor may be involved when interpreting
Value—for example, one FID unit is one picoamp; one uECD
unit is 1 Hz. The units for detector and other signals are
listed below.
Table 80
Signal type
Signal conversions
1 display unit is equivalent to:
Detector:
FID, NPD
1.0 pA (1.0 × 10-12 A)
FPD
150 pA (150 ×10-12 A)
TCD
25 uV (2.5 × 10-5 V)
µECD
1 Hz
Analog input board (use to connect the 15 µV
GC to non-Agilent detector)
Nondetector:
Thermal
Advanced User Guide
1 °C
383
14 GC Output Signals
Table 80
384
Signal conversions (continued)
Signal type
1 display unit is equivalent to:
Pneumatic:
Flow
Pressure
Diagnostic
1 mL/min
1 pressure unit (psi, bar, or kPa)
Mixed, some unscaled
Advanced User Guide
GC Output Signals
14
Analog Signals
If you use an analog recorder, you may need to adjust the
signal to make it more usable. Zero and Range in the Signal
parameter list do this.
Analog zero
Zero Subtracts value entered from baseline. Press [On/Yes]
to set to current Value or [Off/No] to cancel.
This is used to correct baseline elevation or offsets. A
common application is to correct a baseline shift that occurs
as the result of a valve operation. After zeroing, the analog
output signal is equal to the Value line of the parameter list
minus the Zero setpoint.
Zero can be programmed as a run time event. For details, see
“Run Time Programming” on page 16.
1 Verify that the detector is on and in a ready state.
2
Press [Analog Out 1] or [Analog Out 2].
3
Scroll to Zero.
4
Press [On/Yes] to set Zero at the current signal value,
or
Enter a number between - 500000 and +500000. A value
smaller than the current Zero shifts baseline up.
Analog range
Range Scales data coming from the detector
Range is also referred to as gain, scaling, or sizing. It sizes
the data coming from the detector to the analog signal
circuits to avoid overloading the circuits (clamping). Range
scales all analog signals.
If a chromatogram looks like A or B in the next figure, the
data needs to be scaled (as in C) so that all peaks are
visible on the paper.
Valid setpoints are from 0 to 13 and represent 20 (=1) to 213
(=8192). Changing a setpoint by 1 changes the height of the
chromatogram by a factor of 2. The following chromatograms
illustrate this. Use the smallest possible value to minimize
integration error.
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14 GC Output Signals
A: Range = 0
B: Range = 3
C: Range = 1
There are limits to usable range settings for some detectors.
The table lists the valid range setpoints by detector.
Table 81
Range limits
Detector
Usable range settings (2x)
FID
0 to 13
NPD
0 to 13
FPD
0 to 13
TCD
0 to 6
υECD
0 to 6
Analog input
0 to 7
Range may be run time programmed. See “Run Time
Programming” on page 16 for details.
Analog data rates
Your integrator or recorder must be fast enough to process
data coming from the GC. If it cannot keep up with the GC,
the data may be damaged. This usually shows up as
broadened peaks and loss of resolution.
Speed is measured in terms of bandwidth. Your recorder or
integrator should have a bandwidth twice that of the signal
you are measuring.
The GC allows you to operate at two speeds. The faster
speed allows minimum peak widths of 0.004 minutes (8 Hz
bandwidth), while the standard speed allows minimum peak
widths of 0.01 minutes (1.6 Hz bandwidth).
If you use the fast peaks feature, your integrator should
operate at around 15 Hz.
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14
Selecting fast peaks (analog output)
1 Press [Config][Analog 1] or [Config][Analog 2].
2
Scroll to Fast peaks and press [On].
Agilent does not recommend using Fast peaks with a thermal
conductivity detector. Since the gas streams switch at 5 Hz,
the gain in peak width is offset by increased noise.
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14 GC Output Signals
Digital Signals
The GC outputs digital signals only to an Agilent data
system. The following discussions describe features that
impact the data sent to data systems, not the analog data
available to integrators. Access these features from the
data system. These features are not accessible from the
GC keypad.
Digital zero
Available only from an Agilent data system.
Digital signal outputs respond to a zero command by
subtracting the signal level at the time of the command from
all future values.
Signal Freeze and Resume
Available only from an Agilent data system.
Some run time operations, such as changing signal
assignments or switching a valve, can cause baseline upsets.
Other factors can cause baseline upsets also. The GC can
compensate for this by pausing (freezing) the signal at a
particular value, using that signal value for a specified
duration, and then resuming normal signal output.
Consider a system that uses a switching valve. When the
valve switches, an anomaly occurs in the baseline. By
freezing and resuming the signal, the anomaly can be
removed so that the peak identification and integration
software operates more smoothly.
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14
GC Output Signals
Baseline upset due to valve switch
Pause signal here
Resume signal here
Data rates with Agilent data systems
The GC can process data at various data rates, each
corresponding to a minimum peak width. The table shows
the effect of data rate selection.
Table 82
Advanced User Guide
EZChrom/ChemStation data processing
Data rate, Hz
Minimum peak
width, minutes
Relative
noise
Detector
Column type
500
0.0001
5
FID
Narrow-bore,
0.05 mm
200
0.001
3.1
FID
Narrow-bore,
0.05 mm
100
0.002
2.2
FID/FPD/NPD
only
Capillary
50
0.004
1.6
20
0.01
1
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14 GC Output Signals
Table 82
EZChrom/ChemStation data processing (continued)
Data rate, Hz
Minimum peak
width, minutes
Relative
noise
10
0.02
0.7
5
0.04
0.5
2
0.1
0.3
1
0.2
0.22
0.5
0.4
0.16
0.2
1.0
0.10
0.1
2.0
0.07
Detector
Column type
to
All types
Slow packed
You cannot change the data rate during a run.
You will see higher relative noise at the faster sampling
rates. Doubling the data rate can double peak height while
the relative noise increases by 40%. Although noise increases,
the signal- to- noise ratio is better at the faster rates.
This benefit only occurs if the original rate was too low,
leading to peak broadening and reduced resolution. We
suggest that rates be chosen so that the product of data rate
and peak width in seconds is about 10 to 20.
The figure shows the relationship between relative noise and
data rates. Noise decreases as the data rate decreases until
you get to data rates of around 5 Hz. As the sampling rate
slows, other factors such as thermal noise increase noise
levels.
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GC Output Signals
Relative noise level
14
Excess noise (due to flow,
oven temperature, detector
block temperatures, etc.)
Faster data rates
Slower data rates
Zero Init Data Files
This feature applies to digital output only, and is mainly
intended for non- Agilent data systems. It may help systems
that have trouble with non- zero baseline output.
When you turn it On, the GC immediately begins to subtract
the current detector output value(s) from any future values.
For example, if you turn it on when the output is 20 pA, the
GC subtracts 20 pA from the digital output until you turn
Zero Init Data Files Off.
You will not see any change in the GC display, but you will
see the change in the online plot available in the data
system.
To change this setting, press [Config], scroll to Instrument,
then scroll to Zero Init Data Files.
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14 GC Output Signals
Column Compensation
In temperature programmed analysis, bleed from the column
increases as the oven temperature rises. This causes a rising
baseline which makes peak detection and integration more
difficult. Column compensation corrects for this baseline
rise.
A column compensation run is made with no sample
injected. The GC collects an array of data points from all 4
detectors, whether installed, off, or working. If a detector is
not installed or is turned off, that part of the array is filled
with zeros.
One array (Column compensation 1) can be created for
analog signals. Two independent arrays (Column
compensation 1 and 2) can be created for digital signals.
Each array defines a set of curves, one for each detector,
that can be subtracted from the real run to produce a flat
baseline. The next figure illustrates the concept.
Chromatogram with
rising baseline
Blank column
compensation
profile
Chromatogram with
column compensation
All conditions must be identical in the column compensation
run and the real run. The same detector and column must
be used, operating under the same temperature and gas flow
conditions.
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GC Output Signals
14
Creating a column compensation profile
1 Set up the instrument for a run.
2
Make a blank run to verify that the baseline is clean. This
is particularly important for new conditions or if the GC
has been idle for several hours.
3
Press [Column Comp].
4
Select Col comp 1 or Col comp 2 (these are the two arrays).
5
Select Start compensation run and press [Enter].
6
If the run is successful, the first line of the parameter list
will say Data ok, and a time and date will appear at the
bottom.
Making a run using analog output column compensation
1 Set the chromatographic conditions. They must be
identical to those in the stored column compensation run
except that Final time in the last ramp of the oven
program can be longer or shorter.
2
Press [Analog Out 1] or [Analog Out 2].
3
Scroll to Type and press [Mode/Type].
4
The choices for an analog signal are:
Front detector
Back detector
Front - column comp 1
Front column compensation 1
Back column compensation 1
Aux 1 column compensation 1
Aux 2 column compensation 1
Test plot
5
Choose an option from the list.
6
Enter setpoints for Zero and Range, if applicable.
7
Start your run.
Making a run using digital output column compensation
1 Set each detector output separately.
2
Press [Config][Detector name]. Scroll to Signal and press
[Mode/Type]. Select from:
No Column Compensation
Detector - ColComp 1
Detector - ColComp 2
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14 GC Output Signals
This changes the digital output. You cannot get both
compensated and uncompensated digital data from the same
detector at the same time. However, it does not affect the
analog output.
Plotting a stored column compensation profile
1 Press [Analog Out 1] or [Analog Out 2].
394
2
Scroll to Type: and press [Mode/Type].
3
Select the profile to be plotted.
4
Press [Start].
Advanced User Guide
GC Output Signals
14
Test Plot
Test plot is an internally generated “chromatogram” that can
be assigned to a signal output channel. It consists of three
baseline- resolved, repeating peaks. The area of the largest is
approximately 1 Volt- sec, the middle one is 0.1 times the
largest, and the smallest is 0.01 times the largest.
Test plot can be used to verify the operation of external data
processing devices without having to perform repeated
chromatographic runs. It may also be used as a stable signal
to compare the results from different data processing
devices.
To use the Test Plot:
1 Press [Analog Out 1] or [Analog Out 2].
2
Scroll to Type: and press [Mode/Type].
3
Choose Test Plot.
4
Press [Start]. The plot will repeat until you press [Stop].
Test Plot is the default choice for the analog outputs.
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396
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Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph
Advanced User Guide
15
Miscellaneous Topics
Auxiliary Devices 398
About Auxiliary Pressure Control 398
About Aux Thermal Zone Control 399
About Cryo Trap Control 399
About Auxiliary Device Contacts 400
About the 24V Auxiliary Device Power Supply 400
About Auxiliary Columns 400
About Auxiliary Detectors 401
To Use the Stopwatch 402
Service Mode 403
Service Reminders 403
Other functions 405
Agilent Technologies
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15 Miscellaneous Topics
Auxiliary Devices
About Auxiliary Pressure Control
Pressure units
There are two common ways of expressing gas pressures:
psia
Absolute pressure, measured relative to vacuum.
psig Gauge pressure, measured relative to atmospheric
pressure. This name is used because most pressure gauges
have one side of the sensing element exposed to the
atmosphere.
The two measurements are related by:
psia = psig + atmospheric pressure
Two-channel pressure control module (PCM)
The PCM has two different channels. Channel 1 may be
either flow or pressure controlled and may be flow/pressure
programmed. It is essentially identical to the packed column
inlet flow module (see “About the Multimode Inlet).
Channel 2 is pressure only, but may be used in either a
forward- or back- pressure mode by changing connections.
Both channels are controlled by the same parameter list. The
first two lines are for channel 1; the remaining lines are for
channel 2.
The forward- pressure mode requires the user to supply a
downstream flow resistance, possibly a frit.
The back- pressure mode is most useful with gas sampling
valves. By connecting the sample exit line from the valve to
the vent fitting of the PCM, pressure in the sample loop can
be controlled.
Three-channel auxiliary pressure controller (Aux PCM)
All channels are 3- ramp programmable. Up to three modules
may be installed, for a total of 9 pressure- regulated
channels.
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Miscellaneous Topics
Setting parameters for auxiliary pressure control
1 Press [Aux EPC #] and scroll to the channel you wish to
control. Press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Initial pressure. Enter a value and press [Enter].
3
If desired, enter a pressure program using the time and
rate functions.
4
Press [On/Yes] to apply Initial pressure and start the
program.
About Aux Thermal Zone Control
There can be up to 3 aux thermal controlled zones.
These zones are 3- ramp programmable.
Run time events may be used to schedule specific
temperatures during the run.
Setting parameters for the aux thermal zone control
1 Press [Aux Temp #] and scroll to the zone you wish to
control. Press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Temperature. Enter a value and press [Enter].
3
Scroll to Initial time. Enter a value and press [Enter].
4
Scroll to Rate 1. Enter 0 to end the program here or a
positive value to create a temperature program.
About Cryo Trap Control
When configured as a cryo trap, an aux thermal zone has
the following parameters:
Temperature Displays the current trap temperature and
setpoint. Press [On/Off] to turn the zone on or off.
• If On, the cryo trap temperature will remain 10 °C above
the current oven temperature, following the oven program.
• If Off, the GC does not control the trap temperature.
Cold Trap Temperature Enter the target temperature for cryo
trap operation and press [Enter]. Enable this temperature
using run time On and Off events for the aux thermal zone.
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15 Miscellaneous Topics
To use the cryo trap during a run:
1 Press [Aux Temp #] and scroll to the zone you wish to
control. Press [Enter].
2
Scroll to Temperature. Press [On/Off] to turn the zone on or
off, as desired (typically, On).
3
Scroll to Cold Trap Temperature. Enter a value and press
[Enter].
4
Press [Run Table].
5
Press [Mode/Type].
6
Scroll to Cryo trap. Press [Enter] to add a cryo trap event
to the run table.
7
Enter a value for the Time: and press [Enter]. Scroll to
Cryo trap cooling and press [On/Yes] to turn it on.
This event sets the cryo trap temperature to the Cold Trap
Temperature setpoint. The trap remains at this temperature
until another event turns it off, or until the run ends.
8
Enter another Cryo Trap event to turn the trap temperature
Off at the desired run time.
This event sets the cryo trap to track the oven
temperature + 10 °C for the remainder of the run.
About Auxiliary Device Contacts
These contacts are controlled by the external valve drivers.
See “The external valve drivers” on page 356.
About the 24V Auxiliary Device Power Supply
This is controlled by the external valve drivers. See “The
external valve drivers” on page 356.
About Auxiliary Columns
Defines up to 6 columns (includes Col 1 and Col 2).
1 Press [Config][Aux Col #] and enter a column number. Press
[Enter].
2
400
Define/configure the column. See “Column #” on page 34
for details.
Advanced User Guide
Miscellaneous Topics
15
About Auxiliary Detectors
The GC supports up to two auxiliary detectors in addition to
the Front and Back detectors that mount on the top of the
oven.
Aux Det # 1 This can only be a TCD, and mounts in a
carrier on the left side of the oven together with its flow
module.
Aux Det # 2 This can only be an analog input board (AIB). It
is used to receive and process data from a non- Agilent
detector or other source.
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15 Miscellaneous Topics
To Use the Stopwatch
In the stopwatch mode, both the time (to 0.1 second) and
reciprocal time (to 0.01 min- 1) are displayed. The stopwatch is
useful when measuring flows with a bubble flowmeter.
1 Press [Time] and scroll to the time = line.
2
Press [Enter] to start the stopwatch.
3
Press [Enter] again to stop.
4
Press [Clear] to set to zero.
You can access other functions while the stopwatch is
running. Press [Time] again to view the stopwatch display.
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Service Mode
The [Service Mode] key presents the Service Reminders and
other functions.
Service Reminders
Internal counters
This is a set of 12 counters that monitor the use of various
items on the GC, such as syringes, septa, and columns.
These counters only count runs and their definitions are
fixed. You can set limits for each item; when a limit is
reached, the Service Due light on the status board comes on.
Examine the limits to identify the item that has reached its
limit.
You may enter a limit for each item, reset a count to 0 by
pressing [Off/No], or disable a counter by entering a limit of
0.
The counter limits in Table 83 are recommendations. Adjust
the limits as needed to fit your needs.
Table 83 Recommended initial counter limits
Counter
Recommended Limit
Syringe 1 and 2
1000 injections
Septum, Front and Back
100 injections for 7683A ALS
150 injections for 7693A ALS
2000 injections if using the Merlin Micro Seal
Liner, Front and Back
Sample and method dependent. Depending on the sample type, the liner may
need to be replaced daily, weekly, or monthly.
In some cases, septum chunks get in the liner. You may want to match the
septum counter, or set the liner counter to a multiple of 2 or 3 times the septum
counter.
Columns 1-6
Sample and method dependent. Depending on the sample type, columns may
need to be replaced after 50 injections, or they may last through thousands of
injections.
Backflushed methods extend the time between column maintenance.
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Advanced counters
The GC provides storage for 64 advanced counters. They
each have two thresholds, and the actions based on these
counters can be: do nothing, turn on the Service Due light, or
light the Service Due light and go Not ready.
Advanced counters are not accessible through the GC
keyboard, except for the Disable Advanced Counters function of
the Service Reminders. If they are not disabled, they
continue to count, and continue to act on the set thresholds.
This could cause the GC to become Not ready.
Since the advanced counters cannot be reset or manipulated
without the Agilent Instrument Utilities software, Disable
Advanced Counters is provided so that they can be turned off
from the GC keyboard by someone who does not wish to use
them, the Instrument Utilities software, or an Agilent data
system. These users should disable the advanced counters
from the keypad to avoid possible problems.
Counters can be individually enabled (count or don’t count),
individually reset (start over), and individually set as
counting elapsed seconds or runs. They can be assigned
arbitrary “meanings”, allowing you to set up counters for
equipment of your choice.
Each counter has an ID that can be associated with a
concept, such as front inlet gold seal, and can count the
number of elapsed runs or seconds since the last reset, from
which one can infer the gold- seal’s in- service time or count.
A ChemStation can enable or disable individual counters in
association with a method, so that only the counters for
things used by the method advance.
To set up advanced counters
1 Use the Agilent data system to set the counters that
increment with each injection cycle. Do this for each
method used.
2
In the Agilent Instrument Utilities software, set up limits
for each counter enabled in the previous step.
3
On the GC front panel, enable advanced counters.
Press the [Service Mode] key, then scroll. If the display
shows an entry Enable Advanced Counters, select it and press
[On/Yes].
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Other functions
These are for use by trained Agilent personnel. They are
described in the Service Manual.
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Advanced User Guide
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