G.A.S. Dortmund is a German company founded in 1997 that specialises in the field of gas analytical solutions for specific assignments, typically related to the measurement of traces of Volatile Compounds (VCs). They have coupled Ion-Mobility-Spectrometry (IMS) to Gas Chromatography (GC) and utilised this unique GC-IMS technology to perform fast and reproducible analytical testing for traces of volatile compounds.
In 2018, G.A.S. integrated a miniaturised version of its IMS into the µGC 490 (Agilent Technologies Ltd.), coupled the IMS detector to standard benchtop GCs to make the advantages of the IMS-technology available to the entire analytical society and became a value added reseller of Agilent Technologies.
Over the last 20 years, G.A.S has built up their expertise in the field of IMS as it develops and manufactures all of its sensors, electronics and software. Coupling IMS with GC, they have achieved optimal use of the IMS’ outstanding sensitivity.
Using IMS detectors means obtaining qualitative information due to its intrinsic physical separation same as quantitative analysis by evaluation of the substance specific signal. However, when it comes to rather complex matrices like in food and flavour, process, environmental and human breath related applications, the coupling of GC is a must.
By this coupling G.A.S. realises an enhanced 2-dimensional separation (full orthogonality) so that co-elution problems can be overcome and a reliable substance identification at extremely low concentrations (typically ppb-/sub ppb) can be assured.
Due to this technological advantages, pre-concentration of samples which usually affects the samples’ characteristics can be avoided and by that optimally support the demanding decisions of sensory panels.
Product identification, authentication and quality control plays a major role in the Food and Flavour industry.
Monitoring of ambient air, industrial gases, contaminants/volatiles become more important to the industry due to a more demanding environmental legislation and cost-by-cause principle. Therefore, stack monitoring, odour mapping or control of maximum allowable concentrations in environments require sensitive, reliable and rugged analytical instruments that go beyond common sensor technologies are needed. The GC-IMS by G.A.S. can be adopted to various environmental and process control related applications by adjusting sampling, operating modes as well as data analysis.
Breath analysis represents a diagnostic technique which can provide information beyond conventional analysis like blood, urine or other invasive sampling. Hundreds of different substances are found in human breath depending on nutrition, metabolic state, diseases, medication, microbial infections and personal oral hygiene. The presence or absence of specific metabolites can be used for early diagnosis and their presence for therapy control when identified relevant for a particular disease or medication.
Beyond that, breath analysis can be used to analyse poisoning of humans after exposure to toxic chemicals. Medical research has also detected diseases via specific markers from the metabolism found in breath.
Flexible configuration: sampling can be done directly through a spirometer or indirectly through sampling Skin sampling device or nose/mouth cavities.
Application related to medical research/human breath are:
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• Measurement of fl avour inducing traces of (off-) flavour inducing traces of volatiles
• Automatic static headspace sampling of liquids and solids (no sample pre-treatment)
• Does not require lab environment, can work at-line
• Extremely easy-to-use (colleague-to-colleague)
• Rugged: Minor maintenance required
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• Integrated pump and 6-port-valve for active sample introduction
• Manual and automatic 24/7 sampling of gaseous samples
• Portable and rugged: Suitable for on-site applications
• Results on touch-screen or transferred via 4-20mA or MODBUS (TCP) protocol
• Can be equipped with operation gas recycling unit
* Available with single-click menu/closed fi rmware for several applications, such as detection of siloxanes, control of odorants in natural gas and monitoring of toxic industrial compounds.
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• Flexible set-up with disposable mouthpieces and syringes for easy and hygienic sampling
• Heated sampling lines to clean instrument and avoid memory effects
• Versatile due to different sampling modes (continuous exhaling)
• Equipped with operation gas recycling unit (transportable, sampling at site)
• Integrated pump and 6-port-valve for manual and automatic sampling
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• Ready for coupling/interfacing to Agilent 6890/7890B and Shimadzu GC-2010 Plus
• 3H source below exemption limit in all EURATOM countries
• Positive and negative ion modes to test for ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, amines or sulphurous and halogenated compounds, e.g.
• Operation with N2 and synthetic air (quality 5.0)
• Software for 3-dimensional data recording, IMS and flow controller parameter setting
• Ion Mobility Spectrometer (μGC-TCD-IMS):
• Test of natural gas composition incl. detection of low sulphur <0.5ppm
• Measurement of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons
• Sensitive detection of greenhouse gases
• Portable and stationary (24/7) monitoring
• Standard data protocols and interfaces available
Wenyao Zhu, first year pHD student at Uni of Auckland has been using the G.A.S. FlavourSpec GC-IMS for his pHD work, together with supervisor, Frank Benkwitz from Constellation Brands (NZ) to evaluate changes of volatile composition of wines during aging.
This work was presented at WineTech 2019. Watch the video below to hear about Wenyao’s work and the promising and exciting results that would be beneficial for the winery industry!