• Helium-saving options and alternative gases for GC/GCMS

Environmental Laboratory

Helium-saving options and alternative gases for GC/GCMS

Sep 07 2023

Shimadzu offers a comprehensive resource that aims to tackle concerns relating to the scarcity of helium, whilst providing valuable insights into how to reduce helium usage, reduction options and possible alternative carrier gases.

Gas chromatography is the keystone for various environmental analytical applications. However, the need for helium as a carrier has become more and more of a problem because of its scarcity and ever-increasing costs. Shimadzu has taken a proactive approach to deal with this issue by developing ways to conserve helium and examine other gas options. Shimadzu offers a compilation of resources webpage for labs wishing to reduce helium consumption, without compromising on uninterrupted GC analysis. Shimadzu provides invaluable information on techniques to lower helium consumption, optimised instrument settings and cutting-edge technology for maximising efficiency while minimising helium usage.

Andrew Chisholm, Shimadzu UK’s GC/GCMS Product Manager commented ‘At Shimadzu, we are committed to providing sustainable solutions that empower laboratories to overcome challenges and improve their analytical capabilities. With the growing helium scarcity, it is crucial for laboratories to adopt helium conservation strategies and explore alternative gas options. Our new webpage serves as a valuable resource, offering practical insights and recommendations to address this pressing issue."

The webpage examines a variety of strategies for helium conservation, including carrier gas selector valve use, automated software features and column dimension optimisation; the strategies not only help labs to reduce helium usage,  but also improve analytical performance whilst lowering operational costs. This invaluable resource also highlights various, alternative carrier gases to offer labs viable options when there is an absence or shortage of helium. Shimadzu’s webpage provides detailed information on the benefits, limitations, and best practices for using other gases, such as hydrogen and nitrogen. By exploiting these alternatives, reliable and reproducible chromatographic results can still be achieved.

Shimadzu offers further support to laboratories in their efforts to conserve helium and the use of alternative gases; they also provide comprehensive training, technical support along with application guidance. The specialist team at Shimadzu strives to assist their customers in implementing sustainable practices, without compromising on chromatographic performance.

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