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Fireside Chat – Shimadzu – GC-2030 Tips & Tricks – Ian Shaffer

Summary
Ian Shaffer, Senior Product Specialist at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, and Dr. Andrew Jones at Activated Research Company discuss Shimadzu’s System GC Program, the GC-2030, how ARC’s Jetanizer has made a difference in their approach, setup, and results, Tips & Tricks, and how users can reach out to Shimadzu.

Topics

1.[00:00]Introduction

2.[00:25]Shimadzu System GC Program

3.[01:53]Jetanizer™ Impact

4.[05:34]GC-2030

5.[07:10]Tips & Tricks

6.[09:59]Last Act

Links

Shimadzu Website

Shimadzu Sales Rep Locator

Shimadzu Sales Submission Form

Introduction[00:00]

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m joined by Ian Shafer – a Senior Product Specialist at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, a leading analytical solution provider. Hi Ian, this is your second time on the show – welcome back.

Thanks for having me, Andrew.

Excellent. What would you like to talk about today?

Shimadzu System GC Program[00:25]

Let’s talk a bit about the System Gas Chromatography (GC) Program at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) – where our new technologies are taking us, and how they’ve helped push our products to new heights.

The System GC Program at SSI is founded on customization. We see a lot of standardized methods in the field – ASTM, natural gas, or maybe something novel like greenhouse gas – but we try to focus on the areas of the market that require a little more customization. We keep an eye out on emerging market trends – how we can use them to improve the technologies and simplify them for our users.

Are customers coming to you for custom setups, or is SSI leading the charge, saying “we’re seeing these trends – these are things you should take a look at,” or both?

We usually hear a customer need – see a list of components – and begin to leverage our market expertise. We specify the column setup, get the right detectors, and any other hardware components needed to ensure we deliver the desired results against that need.

I see. So, customers in the U.S., or anywhere in the world, could come to you and say, “I’m trying to separate and analyze these compounds, can you help me?” and you’ll put together a system that will do it better than anyone else.

Exactly.

That’s awesome!

Jetanizer Impact[01:53]

One of the technologies that has really revolutionized the approach on our flagship GC – the GC-2030 – is Activated Research Company’s Jetanizer™. The Jetanizer™ is a drop-in in-jet methanizer that we love to use. You don’t need additional hardware, it requires a lot less plumbing, and you don’t have to perform any gymnastics to get it to work. The Jetanizer™ doesn’t need it! It uses a proprietary catalyst that is a lot more resistant to sulfur, oxygen, and things like that. In our traditional setup – we had to include an extra valve that let us cut oxygen away from the methanizer when we were doing a permanent gas analysis to see CO2, CO, and sometimes CH4 because that’s very close to the CO peak on a lot of the columns that we use. With the Jetanizer™, our injection goes right to the methanizer which simplifies our whole setup.

Interesting. So instead of having to heart-cut out the oxygen you can just send everything right to the Jetanizer™.

Exactly. It’s a cool thing – and I’m glad I’ve been able to work with it. It has really simplified our designs. We’ve been working on a few prototypes and found that rather than killing the catalytic activity – the oxygen helps clean the Jetanizer™. It’s pretty amazing.

We’ve also been testing the Jetanizer™ in regard to sulfur analysis. In a traditional setup with flue gases, there would be sulfurs present – but when pairing the GC-2030 and the Jetanizer™, we’ve had really good success. It’s really opened the configurations we can do while keeping it simple for the customer.

That’s good to hear! When we invented the Jetanizer™ – we were targeting a robust solution that solved oxygen peak issues in chromatograms.

We occasionally see a small peak – but for the most part, it’s very, very small. When you hit it with high percentages, you might see a little bit of a deflection, but we’ve shot mixtures of CO, CH4, and CO2 and we’re still able to get very repeatable results.

We’ve done some troubleshooting on the off chance that we do get a deflection from oxygen and one of the things we’ve found is that you can bake-out the Jetanizer™ by turning off the hydrogen and let it sit for a couple of hours. That’s enough to recover the catalyst.

Awesome. So, who is this intended for? What kind of customers are asking for this or needing this?

There’s a broad range of customers requesting this. Anyone that’s looking a permanent gases will benefit from being able to see PPM level up to 90%+ CO2. We’re seeing a lot in greenhouse gas analysis – the carbon capture green energy side of the field. We’re also seeing interest in petrochem as they’re monitoring discharges – and flue gas CO2 analysis is quite common. There are a lot of technologies in a lot of fields.

Right. Do you want to talk about Shimadzu’s newest model – the GC-2030?

GC-2030[05:34]

Sure. The GC-2030 has been a great addition. It’s very flexible, allowing us to distribute different configurations and add new technologies.

As you know, helium is expensive and hard to get right now. We’ve added a gas selector, so you now have a way to reduce your helium consumption. We’ve added a gas saver mode that lets you control your overall gas usage. As crazy as it sounds, we’ve added an oven light – which lets you see inside your oven, which comes in handy when you’re dealing with little capillary columns. It’s actually a very handy feature. We’ve added ClickTek to make column switching easier. Adding features like these add up to make the overall system easier to use for the customer.

You joke about it, but I’ve used headlamps and flashlights trying to get into a GC – so that is a nice feature to have that light.

It really is. I’ve recently worked on some of our older models, and you don’t realize how much you miss it until you don’t have it.

Another thing I found really cool about the GC-2030 is that it’s all stainless, there’s not a lot of aluminum in the design unlike some of your competitors. It’s got a nice, solid overall feel to it.

Any Tips and Tricks for using the Jetanizer™ with the GC-2030?

Tips & Tricks[07:10]

Sure – I have four that are useful.

Be mindful of the Jetanizer’s™ insertion depth. Keep in mind that the temperature is going to be elevated for the analysis – so you don’t want to burn the end of the column. I’ve been adding a short length of fused silica or metal capillary at the end of the column, and then insert that directly into the Jetanizer™. This will help serve as a particle trap – as well as give you a little distance from the column and the 400°C methanizer.

So, you do a little zero dead volume union from the column to the retention gap?

Yep.

Fused Silica?

Either that – or a particle trap – depending on which column is being used. It works great!

So, Shimadzu sells a little union that has low dead volume?

We do that with graphite Vespel adapters, so kind of a one-stop shop for that.

One of my tasks at Shimadzu is to “torture test” the GC-2030 configurations – doing what our customers might do.

It’s a good idea to wait until the Jetanizer™ reaches a temperature of 200°C+ and we’ve noticed that the flame might blow out – but it lights instantly after blowing out. I think it’s collecting a bit of water – but that’s a standard byproduct of the process and is not a big deal.

Keep an eye on your catalyst material with regard to your peak shape. That’s true of any methanizer. I’ve never killed a Jetanizer™, but we have lowered the temperature to get an idea of what that looks like. If you start to see peak broadening, it’s probably time to replace the Jetanizer™ – or at least re-bake it.

We’ve seen that if you do start to see reduced peak areas, the Jetanizer™ has typically been poisoned with sulfur, but it takes quite a bit of sulfur to reach that point.

Finally, if you are getting a little more deflection for oxygen than you expect – just re-bake the Jetanizer™ and you should be good to go.

Interesting. The re-bake procedure is to turn off the hydrogen. Is that right?

Yep. Turn off the flame and the hydrogen and let the Jetanizer™ sit at temperature. It seems to recover itself after a couple hours, comes back, and looks great.

Last Act[09:59]

Awesome! Any other applications or things you’ve tried that you want to talk about?

We’re seeing a lot of interest in carbon capture reformation and the Jetanizer™ is working very well in those areas. We’re branching this out into some other applications, so keep an eye out for future announcements.

So, if users in the United States want to contact you or get a custom GC setup – what do they do?

They can go to our website. There’s a Sales Rep Locator and a custom GC submission form. Reach out to us with your GC and customization needs.

Fantastic. I’m looking forward to having you back on the show sometime. It’s been a pleasure – thank you so much.

Thank you for having me.

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