Water vapor entering the gas chromatograph (GC) inlet, column, and, ultimately, the mass spectrometer (MS) can minimize the sensitivity of our early eluting compounds, including our gases. It can also cause poor peak shape, compounds to co-elude, and shift in retention time, even in compounds outside of the water peak. So, once the water is introduced into our system, it starts to wreak havoc on all our compounds. Some say water doesn’t affect column phase or lifespan, but some have seen an effect, especially if you’re running a lot of samples; water can shorten the column life of your GC column and can cause vacuum issues if you’re using a MS system, which could lead to shorter filament lifetime and having to clean the source more often.
Throughout this blog series, we’ve discussed ways to minimize the amount of water vapor introduced to the GC-MS, using Teledyne Tekmar’s moisture control fitting and application control. We can continue to control moisture not only through this hardware designed for the Purge and Trap, but also through method parameters we can adjust and using smart method parameters on the GC.