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1. Gas Source Helium is becoming increasingly expensive with reports of its price having doubled in some regions between 2013 and 2015. Added to its increased price, supply cannot be ensured in certain regions which is increasing the number of labs looking to change to hydrogen.
Background Researchers from Prof. Guido Verbeck’s group at the University of North Texas (UNT) carried out analysis of drugs of abuse (DOA) and explosives using an ion trap GC-MS to compare results when using helium and hydrogen carrier and buffer gas. As well as comparing the two gases, the group also assessed a number of ion volumes with different orifice diameters to look at their effect on sensitivity with either gas.
Many labs are facing helium supply difficulties and rapid price increases as a result of the helium shortage. Lab managers are therefore looking for alternative carrier gases and for many GC applications, hydrogen provides an excellent alternative to helium. Using a hydrogen generator can supply gas to a whole lab and at the same time remove the danger of storing hydrogen in the lab. Laboratories that switch gas supply from helium to hydrogen can see a number of benefits including reduced overheads, faster throughput and even improved separations.