Three Wizards of Sample Preparation
Many sample preparation techniques originated a long, long time ago. Should we be satisfied with old separation magic or does our whole approach need to be re-cast? Here, three wizards of sample prep, Hans-Gerd Janssen, David Benanou, and Frank David, offer their recipe for transforming one of the ugly frogs of analytical science into a handsome prince.
Rich Whitworth |
At Riva 2014 (the 38th ISCC and 11th GCxGC Symposium), Pat Sandra stood on the stage periodically shaking an imaginary separation funnel – much to the amusement of the audience. “I find it just incredible to see what people are doing in application notes,” Sandra remarked. “They have the very best instrumentation, for example to determine the composition of drinking water at the sub-parts per trillion level with triple quadrupole mass specs and gas chromatography. But do you know what their sample preparation is? They take one liter of water, add 100 ml of dichloromethane, shake it for half and hour. Then they put the dichloromethane in a vial, evaporate it down to 0.5 ml – don’t worry, it’s just going into the air – and then they inject. We need to do something about that…”
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