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Gas Chromatography Sampling

a diagram of gas chromatography equipment
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Gas chromatography (GC) is a powerful analytical tool that enables the simultaneous quantification of many stable species, including O2, N2, H2, alkanes, alkenes, and aromatics.

In the Hanson Group, GC analysis is used in shock tube experiments to measure species yields after the reacting gas has been quenched by an expansion fan; gas samples are extracted through the shock tube endwall and subsequently analyzed. GC sampling measurements complement time-resolved laser absorption measurements by increasing the number of species that can be quantified simultaneously and enabling measurement of species that are difficult to measure optically (e.g., H2).

This technique has been used to gain insight into the thermal cracking patterns of ethylene [1] and the wide array of intermediate species produced in low-temperature n-heptane oxidation [2]. The detailed speciation measurements enabled by GC sampling contribute to the development of more accurate chemical kinetic models, which in turn enable the design of next-generation energy systems.

graph of measuring ethylene, acetylene, and more against temperatures
Ultimate GC-measured ethylene, acetylene, hydrogen, and methane (x10) mole fraction results plotted against the initial T5 for a 1% ethylene/argon test gas mixture at approximately 5 atm [1].

To learn more, check out some of our publications:

[1] A. M. Ferris, D. F. Davidson, and R. K. Hanson, “A combined laser absorption and gas chromatography sampling diagnostic for speciation in a shock tube,” Combustion and Flame, Vol 195 (2018) pp. 40–49. DOI: 10.1016/j.combustflame.2018.04.032

[2] A. M. Ferris, J. W. Streicher, A. J. Susa, D. F. Davidson, and R. K. Hanson, “A comparative laser absorption and gas chromatography study of low-temperature n-heptane oxidation intermediates,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol 37, Issue 1 (2019) pp. 249–257. DOI: 10.1016/j.proci.2018.05.018