Comparison of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography and gas chromatography – mass spectrometry for the characterization of complex hydrocarbon mixtures
Review articleOpen access

AbstractIn this paper, we compare the current separation power of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) with the potential separation power of GC–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) systems. Using simulated data, we may envisage a GC–MS contour plot, that can be compared with a GC×GC chromatogram. Real examples are used to demonstrate the current potential of the two techniques in the field of hydrocarbon analysis. As a separation technique for complex hydrocarbon mixtures, GC×GC is currently about as powerful as GC–MS is potentially powerful. GC–MS has not reached its potential separation power in this area, because a universal, soft ionization method does not exist. The greatest advantage of GC×GC is, however, its potential for quantitative analysis. Because flame-ionisation detection can be used, quantitative analysis by GC×GC is much more robust, reliable and reproducible.

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