Comparative study of differential flow and cryogenic modulators comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography systems for the detailed analysis of light cycle oil
The modulator is the key point of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC). This interface ensures the sampling and transfer of the sample from the first to the second dimension. Many systems based on different principles have been developed. However, to our knowledge, almost only cryogenic modulators are used in the petroleum industry. Nevertheless cryogenic fluids represent some disadvantages in term of safety, cost and time consuming. This paper reports a comparative study between differential flow and cryogenic liquid modulators for the detailed analysis of hydrocarbons in middle distillates type light cycle oil (LCO). Optimization of geometrical dimensions of a set of columns was carried out on the differential flow modulator system in order to reproduce the quality of separation of cryogenic modulation. Then a comparative study was investigated on sensibility and resolution (separation space and peak capacity) between the two systems.