Gas Chromatography

The Function of GC Columns

This technical article provides a general overview of the purpose of GC columns, key processes involved and a description of differences between them.

The column is the heart of the gas chromatograph. It is through interactions between solutes (individual compounds in the sample, also called analytes) and the stationary phase within the column that separation can occur. The driving force that moves solutes forward, the mobile phase, is a gas, also called the carrier gas. Unlike in liquid and supercritical fluid chromatographies, the mobile phase in GC plays no active role in the separation process other than to move solutes toward the column outlet.

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