Anyone who has ever used an oil-based vacuum pump will know how tedious working with these pumps can be. Oil leaks, contamination and high maintenance costs are only a few of their issues. Agilent’s new oil-free GC/MS solution solves all these problems. Through innovative design, this vacuum pump eradicates the need for oil in the lab. What’s more, oil-free means contamination risk-free, as well as reduced costs and maintenance time. The Agilent IDP-3 oil-free dry scroll pump can replace the existing vacuum technology in your current GC/MS system or is available with new GC/MS systems.
VACUUM PUMPS: THE UNSUNG HEROES OF GC/MS
Overlooked and underrated it may be, the vacuum pump is an essential component of your GC/MS system.
For anyone who is new to GC/MS, here’s why: After the GC system separates the chemicals in a sample, the MS system ionizes the particles in these chemicals to allow them to be filtered. The quadrupole – the selective ion filter in the MS system – works most efficiently in low pressure, that is, in a vacuum. Without a vacuum, ions cannot travel across the quadrupole without colliding with other molecules, creating chemical background noise. Low pressure is thus essential in reducing contamination and chemical noise and is maintained by the all-important vacuum pump.
To create this vacuum, a compartment in the pump is sealed and the gas in this compartment is then removed. Thus, an effective sealing material is required. Until recently, oil-sealed vacuum pumps were the most widely used in research labs. Although alternative, oil-free GC/MS solutions do exist, these have normally been much more expensive options. Oil however, creates problems.
THE DRAWBACKS OF OIL
Maintenance: In general, oil pumps must be serviced at least every 12 months, or for heavily used systems every 6 months is recommended. The oil needs to be regularly refilled in every instrument, and used oil needs to be disposed of safely. Working with an oil pump can inevitably lead to having to deal with oil leaks or oil stains on the floor – another unpleasant and common experience, especially in big labs. Maintenance is costly and oil waste disposal can often be more expensive than the original price of the oil. And if your lab has hundreds of systems, it escalates quickly – in terms of both cost and downtime.
Backstreaming: If backstreaming has happened to you, you will know about the problems it can cause. Backstreaming of oil into the GC/MS system and the consequent potential of oil contamination of samples is inconvenient and can be costly to fix.
Environmental impact: Disposing of used oil is costly and bad for the environment. Oil is hazardous waste that can find its way into our air, water, and soil.
GO OIL-FREE: YOU’LL NEVER LOOK BACK
The Agilent IDP-3 oil-free dry scroll pump is vacuum technology that is powerful, reliable, quiet, and clean. It uses an innovative dual-scroll mechanism and tip seal design, which negate the need for oil. That’s right – no more costly and environmentally unfriendly oil waste disposal, no more risk of oil contamination, no more oil leaks, and no more fumes and solvents.
The dual-scroll mechanism works by one of the scrolls orbiting the other, forming moving zones of captured gas. As a volumetric pump, the gas enters at the outer edge and is displaced towards the center. With static and rotating surfaces, pockets of trapped and compressed gas are created. Once at the center, the gas is removed to create the vacuum. The seal comes from the tight clearances between the surfaces and the ‘tip seal’.
This innovative scroll design also reduces noise and vibration, making your lab a more pleasant place to work. And maintenance? It’s easy. All that’s required is replacement of the tip seal, which you can quickly do yourself in a matter of minutes. That gives you both reduced maintenance cost and reduced downtime. Combined with a cleaner lab environment and a greener global environment, this innovative design solves all the problems that oil-based pumps create.
So for an oil-free GC/MS solution, you need look no further than the Agilent IDP-3 scroll pump. It’s low-maintenance, reliable, environmentally friendly, clean, and quiet. What’s more it’s available with new GC/MS systems, or as an upgrade to your existing GC/MS system.
If you’ve ever used an oil-sealed pump, you are going to love the Agilent IDP-3 scroll pump. Check out the following video.