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Two Dimensional Preparative GC

Perhaps the most challenging preparative GC application in the Netherlands can be seen in the analytical laboratory of IFF in Tilburg. In that lab research scientist Aafke Robben and team leader Joost Broekhans apply the DVLS GC-Fractionator to automate two-dimensional preparative GC to isolate fragrance interesting volatile components from raw materials present in very low concentrations. This to prepare for e.g. structural analysis with NMR or high-resolution MS.


In 2018, IFF invested in a first system for preparative GC, the GC-Fractionator developed by Da Vinci Laboratory Solutions. This system is based on an elegant method developed by Jeroen Kool's Biomolecular Analysis research group, which is based on a post-column infusion with a low-boiling solvent. The system consists of two parts: a GC and an LC pump. After the sample is injected into the GC and separated in the capillary column, the effluent is routed to a three-way connector. This splits a small portion of the sample to the FID for detection; the vast majority goes to a second splitter for fractionation. Here, the carrier gas containing analytes from the GC is mixed with a vaporized solvent –for example hexane– that comes out of the LC pump. This mixture then condenses in a transfer line located outside the GC oven. Because the mixture condenses, the fractions can be collected as liquid in different vials.

The GC-Fractionator has collected a multitude of components in sufficient quantities for structural analysis by NMR. However, IFF's analytical wish list was not yet fully fulfilled. 
A solution has been found in obtaining a second GC-Fractionator, which is configured on two GCs. This solution speeds us the fractionation process and results in a greater resolution. 

More information

Download the complete article on the IFF GC-Fractionation or contact us


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