As all inlet liners gradually become dirty and the surface becomes active they become unsuitable for most sample analysis.
Some laboratories adopt the risky practice of cleaning and then deactivating their liners.
Regardless of whether the liner has visible deposits, charring or discolouration, the process of cleaning will involve the use of solvents such as Methanol, Methylene Chloride, and Hexane. As for deactivation, many labs use Dimethyldichlorosilance in dry Toluene. Most of those chemicals are category 1 and 2, and some of the long term exposure will cause damage to organs, reproductive toxicity, and aspiration hazards. In addition to the hazardous nature of those chemicals, they are costly to purchase and equally expensive to dispose.
The first step involves removing deposits on the inside surface of a liner by heating the liner for a considerable amount of time and sonication. Using a small bottle brush or a pipe cleaner to remove small pieces of septa will potentially introduce scratches to the inside surface of the liner. This results in the generation of active sites. By deactivating the liner, there will still be active sites that can adsorb sample components and cause peak tailing, with potential loss of sensitivity and reproducibility.
To ensure that the cleaning and deactivation process has been effective, you will also need to perform QC on each batch of liners that you condition.
Cleaning and deactivating liners involves:
- High labour costs
- High chemical costs
- Increased exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Questionable cleanliness and inertness
So this leads us to the big question: is the practice really worth the effort?
The idea of saving money by personally cleaning and deactivating your liners is a false economy. Not only is it costing you more money, you are significantly putting at risk the quality of your analytical results.
Is it worth the cost of re-running samples or presenting less than satisfactory chromatograms to your customers?
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Our qualified customer service staff are happy to discuss purchasing arrangements for certified liners that are cost effective that will leave your lab to focus on operating efficiently and producing quality results. Email us today!