Conceptually, pyrolysis is a simple process. Apply sufficient heat to a complex chemical species until organic bonds begin to break forming smaller, stable molecules commonly referred to as pyrolyzates. The gas chromatographic separation of the pyrolyzates is called a pyrogram.The pyrolyzates formed and their relative intensities provide insight into the nature of the original material. While data quality is a function of the entire GC system, it is the design of the pyrolyzer that has the greatest impact on the data quality. Three factors are of paramount importance:
||The sample must be “heated” instantaneously. Frontier utilizes a vertical micro-furnace. The sample goes from ambient to the furnace temperature in less than 20msec. The near instantaneous increase in temperature eliminates changes in the sample as it is heated and provides a high level of reproducibility.
||The sample path must be inert and at a uniform temperature. The Frontier multi-functional pyrolyzer has no transfer line. The furnace is just a few centimeters away from the split/splitless injection port. The “interface” is the needle going into the splitter. This eliminates the contamination and thermal gradients associated with conventional transfer lines.
||The sample must be at ambient temperature. Frontier physically removes the sample from the furnace and holds it at ambient temperature (in an inert atmosphere) whenever multiple analyses (double-shot, heart-cutting, etc.) of a single sample are being done. This maintains sample integrity and contributes to both the accuracy and precision of the data.
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