In a Gas Chromatography instrument can a Flame Ionization Detector be used with $\ce{H2}$ as carrier gas?

My intuition says no, because I'd be afraid you'd set the whole column on fire (or worse).

Is this right? Or can an FID be used even with $\ce{H2}$ carrier gas safely?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It works see sepscience.com/Techniques/GC/Articles/208-/… $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Oct 19, 2016 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW Thanks. But the article does not explicitly mention an FID working with an H2 carrier gas, does it? Maybe I missed it. Sorry! $\endgroup$ Oct 19, 2016 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, try restek.com/Landing-Pages/Content/gen_B008 and try goggle yourself... $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Oct 19, 2016 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Your intuition is wrong: to set the column on fire, you would need to have a mixture of H2 and O2 within the column. As long as the flow of hydrogen is maintained through the column and prevents entry of oxygen, there is no risk. (Think of the same situation with a gas cooker burner: there is no flame in the tubing carrying methane to the burner.) $\endgroup$
    – PLD
    Oct 19, 2016 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW is correct; further, it is common practice. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2017 at 11:53


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