Determination of Trace Components Using a Selectable 1D/2D GC-MS System based on Capillary Flow Technology and Heart-Cut Fraction Collection


App Note 2/2010

Identification of important trace components in complex samples like fragrances, natural products, petroleum fractions or polymers can be challenging. Achieving the mass on column and resolution necessary to locate and identify trace components using a single chromatographic separation can be difficult if not impossible. A selectable 1D/2D GC/MS configuration using Agilent capillary flow technology (CFT) and low thermal mass (LTM) GC column modules with dissimilar column phases was used to perform heartcutting 2D GC on two sample types. Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction was used as a solventless means to introduce sufficient mass of sample extract onto the pre-column of the multidimensional system. When additional mass is necessary to detect the analyte of interest in the second dimension separation, a selectable cryotrap after the pre-column can function as a fraction collector to accumulate fractions from many replicate chromatographic separations of the sample extract. Separation and identification of selected trace components from beverages and consumer products were used to demonstrate the effectiveness of this system. The main advantages of this configuration were the simple selection of one or two dimensional operation and the ability to collect multiple fractions to maximize signal from trace components in the second dimension.