MICRO GC: A Complete Overview

MICRO GC: A Complete Overview

Micro gas chromatography was introduced with the development of the Micro Electrical & Mechanical Systems. µGCis an analytical technique that lend

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Micro gas chromatography was introduced with the development of the Micro Electrical & Mechanical Systems. µGCis an analytical technique that lends itself to process analysis. Reasons for this perspective could be addressed as follows:

  • The modular design for the ease of adaption of laboratory applications.
  • The small size, high robustness and reliability of the instrument.
  • The high speed of the analysis.
  • The low consumption of power, carrier, and sample.
  • The pro towards EMC and ATEX certification and integration.

The necessity for micro-process gas-chromatography (µGC) can be found in the fast detailed analyses in various industrial processes, for the fast control of product yield and quality. A few examples:
Oil exploration during drilling, a quick answer is obtained if hydrocarbons above a certain level are present (mud-logging).
Real-time feedforward in the control of a chemical/petrochemical plant or refinery.Field installation in a (remote) location like on and off-shore natural gas fields for the fast analyses and energy calculation of natural gas.Environmental exhaust guarding against greenhouse gasses like CO2 and CH4 or emissions of toxic gasses like SO2 and H2S.

The necessity for µGC

PGC(Process Gas Chromatography) exists from the early 1960s. Compared to a laboratory gas-chromatograph a process of small Gas Chromatography differs in the unattended and automated operation, its environmental conditions, and the demand for its applications. A conventional process gas-chromatograph consists of an electrical and mechanical system. The micro gas chromatography was introduced by the development of the Micro Electrical &Mechanical Systems (MEMS). µGC is an analytical technique that lends itself to process analysis. Reasons for this perspective could be addressed as follows:

  1. The advantage of EMC and ATEX certification and integration.
  2. The small size, high robustness, and reliability of the instrument.
  3. The low consumption of utilities (power and carrier) and sample.
  4. The high speed of the analysis.
  5. The modular design for the ease of adaption of laboratory applications.

The need for micro gas-chromatography (µGC) can be found in the fast detailed analyses in various industrial processes, for the fast control of product yield and quality. A few examples:

  • Field installation in a (remote) location like on and off-shore natural gas fields for the fast analyses and energy calculation of natural gas.
  • Real-time feedforward in the control of a chemical/petrochemical plant or refinery.
  • Oil exploration during drilling, a quick answer is obtained if hydrocarbons above a certain level are present (mud-logging).
  • Environmental exhaust guarding against greenhouse gasses like CO2and CH4or emissions of toxic gasses like SO2 and H2

 The micro gas chromatography valid for the use as process µGCs

Although the start of this section reports the abilities of a µGC to be used for process analysis, none of the µGCs can be installed in a process environment just like that. Even some of them are not valid to be installed in an industrial setup. Those are designed for an off-line (laboratory) use where the environment and utilities are under controlled and ideal conditions. The ability of a GC to be used in a process environment, a harsh and explosion danger environment, depends on a number of factors. These abilities of the instrument and the conditions under which it must operate can be addressed as follows:

  1. The performance specifications (like speed, repeatability, bias, dynamic range, etc.).
  2. The continuous and unattended operation (reliability).
  3. The ability to handle a wide variety of unknown samples (applications).
  4. The explosion-proof certification (ATEX, CSA).
  5. Environmental conditions.

The final take

There are many factors where µGCs comes to get fruitful results. We hope this blog helped you to know more about the uses and requirements of micro gas chromatography.