Environmental laboratories have demanding customers that require samples to be run efficiently and at a reasonable price. To help laboratories increase their efficiency and keep per sample costs low, ASAP Analytical developed the TITAN XL and the TITAN PCU. The TITAN XL large volume PTV inlet and Titan PCU Peltier Cooling Device allow the user to inject sample volumes into the GC higher than 5 ul. The increase in injection volume is directly related to a rise in the sensitivity and concentration of the sample. The injection of a more significant amount of sample means less time spent collecting, preparing, and shipping samples — this increased efficiency results in a rapid ROI for the TITAN XL and PCU hardware.
The TITAN XL inlet contains a programmable heater that can reach sub-ambient or sub-zero temperatures using the stand-alone TITAN PCU. In the past, the temperature was maintained at these reduced setpoints using LN2 or CO2. The addition of the TITAN PCU, you can remove LN2 dewars and CO2 tanks from the area directly around the GC. The TITAN PCU is compact and maintenance-free. After injecting the sample into a cold inlet, ballistic heating allows the sample to be rapidly vaporized and introduced to the capillary column. The analysis is then done on the highly concentrated sample, just like a standard injection amount.
The TITAN XL inlet with the PCU cooling device can save an environmental laboratory on the cost of solvents, inbound shipping, containers, and cryogenic gases. A smaller sample size significantly reduces the consumption of solvents. The smaller sample size will also eliminate the need for large 1L containers. Replacing these larger containers with 100 ml or 40ml vails will reduce shipping costs. The addition of the TITAN PCU can eliminate the need for LN2 or CO2, further lowering the cost of ownership.
Examples of applications that can benefit from this technology include 3511/8270 PAH, 3511/8270 PAH SIM, DRO/ORO, 35100/8015, and Pesticides/PCB.
Due to the worldwide increase of illegal synthetic drugs and their legal definition, it is essential to differentiate between isomers of illicit drugs. To comply with accepted standards for identification, this typically requires a combination of instrumental and chemical techniques. Gas Chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is a powerful tool used in forensic chemistry for the identification of the complex mixtures often encountered by forensic chemists. In GC analysis, compounds are separated from a mix and eluted from a column based on the structure’s affinity for the stationary phase. The elution is measured by retention time, and while the retention time of a given compound in a GC method can provide clues to identity, retention time is not unique to any compound.
In MS, a molecule is bombarded with high energy electrons, creating charged ions. Typically, these ions are unstable and will undergo fragmentation producing a mass spectrum pattern based on mass to charge ratio. Libraries of known standards can then be compared to these fragmentation patterns. Many times, this mass spectrum is enough to identify the compound of interest in a forensic setting. In the case of positional isomers, the ions produced during fragmentation may not be unique, and the resulting mass spectra are indistinguishable in benchtop GC-MS instrumentation. The American Society of Crime Laboratory acknowledges the need to couple MS with other instrumentation to accurately identify positional isomers.
In infrared spectrophotometry (IR), molecules are exposed to infrared radiation. Based on the arrangement of the functional groups, it will either absorb or transmit the various wavelengths of radiation. The resulting IR spectra can then be compared to known Vapor Phase IR Libraries. Unlike in MS, where the movement of a functional group in a positional isomer cannot be differentiated, slight changes in the position of functional groups is detectable in the IR spectrum. GC-IRD allows for the characterization of these isomers with the advantage of the separation afforded by the GC.
The Vapor Phase (VP) GC-FTIR, IRD 3 manufactured by ASAP Analytical, is the best analytical technique to complement the most widely used analytical method for drugs of abuse GC-MS. Using the IRD 3 in tandem with GC-MS gives the forensic laboratories a versatile and reliable set of tools to identify unknowns and difficult isomers.