E16-02: Troubleshooting Chromatographic Systems

Two-Day Course 

Dr. Merlin K.L. Bicking, ACCTA, Inc., St. Paul, MN
Dr. Douglas E. Raynie, South Dakota State University, SD

Chromatographic instruments are an integral part of almost every analytical laboratory. While modern instruments are very reliable, chromatographers must still deal with many day-to-day problems (peak shape changes, baseline shifts, retention time problems, etc.) that can arise from the instrument, the sample, or the laboratory. This seminar will provide guidance on identifying the causes of such problems, finding solutions, and preventing future problems. Basic LC and GC components will be discussed, and helpful hints will be provided on how to avoid certain problems and maximize the overall analytical efficiency in the laboratory. Students will learn about general troubleshooting strategies, common symptoms, and common solutions to common symptoms.  This seminar provides practical technical information that is not available from any other source.

Students are encouraged to bring examples of problems from their own laboratories for open discussion.  This has been one of the most popular courses at EAS over for many years, and regularly receives excellent reviews from participants.  Come find out why!

Anyone involved with conducting or managing GC or HPLC analyses.

1.  A General Approach to Troubleshooting 
2.  Minimizing Errors in Peak Integration 
     * How do chromatographic integrators work
     * What integration baseline options are available
     * Understanding the errors and minimizing them
3.  GC Troubleshooting 
     * Current trends in instrument design
     * Comprehensive troubleshooting strategies for GC
     * Matching symptoms with solutions
4.  LC Troubleshooting
     * Current operating issues in HPLC
     * Design-related problems
     * Linking symptoms and solutions with the LC Troubleshooting Matrix 
5.  Open Discussion – bring your own examples and questions

Dr. Merlin K. L. Bicking (Course Director) is President, ACCTA, Inc.  He has extensive analytical chemistry experience in academia, contract research, independent testing laboratories, consulting, and technical training. His professional history includes development of two EPA methods, as well as numerous methods in other regulated and non-regulated industries. His publications and presentations cover a wide range of topics, including liquid chromatography theory, derivatization, method optimization, and the use of experimental design strategies in analytical chemistry. He also develops and presents technical training seminars for analytical laboratory staff, and has been teaching EAS short courses for nearly twenty years.

Dr. Douglas E. Raynie is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at South Dakota State University.  Prior to joining SDSU, he was employed for eleven years as a Senior Scientist at Procter and Gamble’s Corporate Research Division.  He earned his Ph.D. at Brigham Young University under the direction of Dr. Milton L. Lee.  His undergraduate degree is from Augustana (South Dakota) College, with majors in chemistry and biology.  Analytical separations research in Dr. Raynie’s laboratory includes high-resolution chromatography (high-temperature LC and SFC), chromatographic sample preparation (ASE, SFE, SPME, and SPE), chromatography theory, green analytical chemistry, and problem-based learning in analytical chemistry.