Gas chromatography machine

Gas chromatography machine

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Caption: Gas chromatography machine being used to measure melamine levels in food samples. Gas chromatography enables complex mixtures of volatile compounds to be separated into individual components to be identified and studied. The sample is heated and evaporated into gases. An inert carrier gas, such as helium, forces the components into a heated column where separation takes place. As the compounds pass out of the column, they are ionised and analysed by a mass spectrometer. Photographed at the FDA laboratory, Irvine, California, USA.

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