Gas Choromatography 2

Gas Choromatography

In this educational video clip we see a simple explanation about how the GC/MS works.

Gas chromatography is a chromatographic technique that can be used to separate organic compounds that are volatile. Or in other words, a gas chromatograph is a chemical analysis instrument for separating chemicals in a complex sample. Therefore, GC/MS helps us analyse the constituents of a fragrant substance and print out a clear (or nearly clear) formula of it. This way, we can see what the natural oils are made of and how much of what ingredient gives us the smell of that oil.

Professionals working with GC analyze the content of a chemical product, for example in assuring the quality of products in the chemical industry; or measuring toxic substances in soil, air or water. GC is very accurate if used properly and can measure picomoles of a substance in a 1 ml liquid sample, or parts-per-billion concentrations in gaseous samples.

In a semi-legal aspect, GC/MS is also used in de-constructing famous perfumes, obtain their formulas and try to duplicate them. “Fake perfumes” owe their existence to this apparatus.

GC analyses are mostly not push-button operations. Which means, you cannot simply drop a sample vial into an auto-sampler’s tray, push a button and have a computer tell you everything you need to know about the sample. According to the substances one expects to find, the operating program must be carefully chosen.

Being a GC operator needs expertise, education and skill.

For more information about everything related to the sense of smell, please visit


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