The Lucidity miniGC is roughly the size of a tall shoebox and weighs around 20 pounds with one standard power cord and 3 inlets for gas hookups in the back. So, it doesn’t need to be set up by a team, installed by an expert, or fixed in its location. It can be set up anywhere you want, easily moved, and ready to run within minutes of turning on the power.
Another key feature of the system is the way we heat the column. Instead of hanging the column in an air oven and heating and cooling the air in that chamber to control column temperature, we heat the column itself via induction heating. There is an induction heating coil in the system just below where the column is positioned when a column cartridge is in the system that induces heating in the column itself allowing rapid and controllable heating and cooling of the column temperature. The column temperature is measured directly by an infrared temperature detector for accurate control and rapid feedback. The column can be controlled anywhere between 40C and 400C to accommodate most oven profiles.
ABILITY TO HANDLE EVEN LESS VOLATILE COMPOUNDS
The system has been designed to analyze most compound mixtures that can be analyzed in much larger and much more expensive GCs and GC-MS’s. It is not limited in application scope like portable systems.
SPLIT AND SPLITLESS FLOW
REMOVABLE COLUMN CARTRIDGES
The system is based on removable column cartridges that allow the easy introduction and removal of columns. The column cartridges are 4.5 inches wide by 6 inches deep and 1 inch tall. The cartridges house the different GC columns. The columns are standard GC columns that we get from Restek. Currently we are using their MTX metal capillary columns but will expand into their silica columns at some point. The columns are contained within our column cartridges and engaged into our pin system with a standard nut and ferrule type system inside the cartridge.
Another benefit included with the column cartridges is auto column recognition. Each column is tagged so that when inserted into the system the system can recognize what type of column it is (length, ID, film thickness, and stationary phase type), as well as the run history (how many times the column has been run, what temperatures the column has been exposed to, etc.) This helps the system suggest and calculate appropriate run parameters, warn against temperature conditions and other conditions that may ruin a column, and to warn the user when a column may be nearing the end of its useful life, or assuring a user that a column should not be near the end of its usable life.
Two novel things we did with our injection port were:
- Create a 90 degree orientation between the inlet liner and the head of the column to minimize the amount of junk that gets onto the column
- Incorporate a positioning device that ensures that the inlet liner and head of the column are repeatedly aligned in exactly the same orientation and distances to ensure reproducible chromatographs run to run and system to system when liners or columns are replaced