Portable GC-MS for onsite ‘lab analysis’

Quantitech has launched a unique portable gas chromatograph toroidal ion trap mass spectrometer (GC-TMS). “Developed in the USA by Torion Technologies, the TRIDION™-9 is the fastest portable GC-MS in the world,” says Quantitech’s Dr Andrew Hobson. “Combining a high speed GC with a miniaturised TMS in a lightweight, field-portable instrument, the TRIDION™-9 is designed to rapidly detect an enormous variety of chemical compounds in liquid, solid or gaseous samples.

“Sample collection, distribution and laboratory analysis can incur a considerable time delay, but with this technology, users will be able to undertake laboratory-grade analysis in the field, providing accurate, rapid results within minutes of a sample being taken.

“In some circumstances testing is necessary in a UKAS accredited environment, so lab analysis is unavoidable, but for routine process monitoring, environmental investigations and research applications, the speed and simplicity of a portable GC-MS have obvious advantages.”

The ability to undertake on-site analysis presents a number of major benefits:

  • No delay in sample results
  • No sample transport costs
  • No problems with sample storage during transport
  • No ‘non-conforming’ samples 

Simple to operate and able to produce results in under 3 minutes, the TRIDION™-9 can be operated with the unit’s touchscreen display. However, the instrument is supplied with easy-to-use CHROMION™ operating software which facilitates configuration, data display and processing.

The TRIDION™-9 on-board library identifies target compounds in a table that is displayed on the instrument’s touch screen.  The CHROMION™ software enables users to custom build target compound libraries.  Unique deconvolution algorithms ensure reliable identification of even co-eluting compounds in complex mixtures and the software works in conjunction with the extensive NIST Library database, so unknown peaks can be easily identified.

CUSTODION® Solid Phase MicroExtraction (SPME) syringes have been developed for use with the TRIDION™-9, providing a fast, simple, solvent-free method for sampling in the field. Following sample collection, the SPME fibre is inserted directly into the heated injection port of the GC.  Analytes are thermally desorbed in the injector, separated in the GC column, and detected by the TMS.  A variety of SPME phases are available to specifically target different groups of analytes for maximum extraction efficiency.

In order to avoid the necessity for impractical laboratory glassware and chemicals; field calibration, including both mass and retention time calibration, has been greatly simplified by the development of CALION™ PV Mixes – calibration and performance validation standards. These contain standard compounds that are carried in solidified liquid particles, where the compounds maintain equilibrium between the solid particles and the vial’s headspace.

Quantitech’s Dr Hobson believes that the development of the TRIDION™-9 represents a quantum leap forward in the growing trend toward on-site analysis: “Talk to any analytical laboratory and they will tell you that their clients or process colleagues take accurate results for granted. However, they will also tell you that their greatest wish is for faster results, so for those tests that do not need to be conducted in a UKAS accredited lab, field testing offers the fastest route to data.

“Offering extremely low detection levels, in a portable, simple-to-use instrument, the TRIDION™-9 is a game changer; offering laboratories the ability to dramatically enhance their capabilities, and offering users the chance to avoid the time delay, cost and hassle of sample transportation.”

For more information, please visit www.quantitech.co.uk

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