Gas chromatography using resistive heating technology
Air bath ovens are standard in conventional gas chromatography (GC) instruments because of their simplicity and reliability for column temperature control. However, their low heating rates, high power consumption and bulky size are in conflict with the increasing demands for fast separation and portable instrumentation. The deficiencies of air bath ovens can be eliminated using resistive heating technology, as the column is conductively heated by compact resistive heaters with low thermal mass. Resistive heating methods were employed in the early years of GC history, and they are emerging again as instrumentation is becoming more compact and sophisticated. Numerous designs have been tested and some have been successfully commercialized. Development of portable GC systems, including lab-on-a-chip devices, greatly benefits from the use of small, low-power resistive heating hardware. High speed GC separations using conventional instruments also can be best achieved with resistive heating modules. Despite some of its own inherent disadvantages, including efficiency loss, complex manufacturing and inconvenient column maintenance, resistive heating is expected to rapidly become a mature technology and even replace oven heating in the not-to-distant future. âº Resistive heating methods for gas chromatography are described. âº Fast heating and cooling allow high-speed separations and high analytical throughput. âº Low power consumption and small size are critical for portable/microfabricated GC. âº Resistive heating technology benefits both laboratory analysis and field detection.