Small but powerful GC

Shimadzu has announced the release of the Brevis GC-2050, a more compact version of the popular GC-2030. The new product further advances the Shimadzu tradition of delivering high-precision gas chromatography analyses – while simultaneously saving valuable laboratory bench space.

Laboratory space is very cost-intensive to set up and maintain, and the number of analyses that can be performed simultaneously in a lab is often limited by the available bench space.The new GC-2050 addresses this challenge by combining low space requirements with high analytical performance. Small enough that a typical laboratory table can accommodate several units, the GC-2050 allows the simultaneous operation of two analytical lines with standard capillary columns. As with the successful GC-2030 – its larger sibling – it uses the same techniques for sample injection and detection as well as gas control.

The new unit provides a colour touchscreen on the instrument. This is usually not needed during regular operations but is a valuable tool for maintenance work and troubleshooting. The app provides full connectivity and functionality on any MS-Windows-compatible desktop, laptop or tablet. Naturally, a tablet or other touchscreen-enabled device provides the most flexible and efficient means to reap the benefits of the new tool. Mobile monitoring helps keep things moving.

Helium is the preferred carrier gas in gas chromatography, but its limited supply and high price suggest that GC operators have increasingly been turning to other gases as more economical alternatives. The GC-2050 software allows operators to easily choose their carrier gas from among hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and argon. Whatever gas is used, the system immediately detects gas leaks through its rugged gas controllers. Minor leaks are also detected by the automated leak check performed after maintenance work. For even greater safety, a dedicated hydrogen sensor can be installed that stops the gas supply before dangerous concentrations of hydrogen are reached.

Because gas consumption is one of the major expenses in GC operations, the new GC-2050 also offers various techniques for reducing these costs. For example, full split flow is only required during sample injection. During the remaining GC run-time, the gas saver reduces consumption and avoids unnecessary use of the carrier gas. If expensive helium is being used, the gas selector switches automatically to the cheaper nitrogen and then back to helium as soon as a new sample measurement is started. At night or during longer rest periods, the GC can shut down automatically after finishing all running analyses. It then restarts automatically whenever the operator wishes to resume testing.

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