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Troubleshooting Chromatographic Systems

Chromatographic instruments are an integral part of almost every analytical laboratory. While modern instruments are very reliable, chromatographers must still deal with occasional problems (peak shape changes, baseline shifts, retention time problems, etc.) that can arise from the instrument, the sample, or the laboratory. This seminar will provide guidance on identifying the causes of such problems, finding solutions, and preventing future problems. Basic LC and GC components will be discussed, and helpful hints will be provided on how to avoid certain problems and maximize the overall analytical efficiency in the laboratory. Come prepared to discuss your own situations as part of an interactive discussion.

Students will learn about:

  • General troubleshooting strategies
  • The importance of evaluation mixtures
  • Common symptoms
  • Common solutions to common symptoms


  1. General Troubleshooting Strategies
    • Isolating the Problem
    • Common symptoms
    • Using Evaluation Mixtures
  2. Troubleshooting Gas Chromatography Systems
    • GCs Today
    • Autosamplers and Inlets
    • Capillary Columns
    • Detectors
    • Plumbing
    • Ancillary Techniques
    • Prevention Strategies
    • If All Else Fails
  3. Troubleshooting Liquid Chromatography Systems
    • System Components
    • Design Characteristics
    • Potential Problems
    • Symptoms and Solutions
  4. Data Systems, Peak Integration and Reporting Issues
    • When should you integrate with peak height rather than peak area?

Course Length: 1 or 2 days

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This page last updated October, 2007.