We offer the widest product range of low-flow (mass) flow meters and controllers on the market. Numerous styles of both standard and bespoke instruments can be offered for applications in laboratory, machinery, industry and hazardous areas.
Customer satisfaction, innovation and quality of product and service have been the cornerstones of Bronkhorst's success. Based on our experience, innovation and sense of responsibility, a relationship with Bronkhorst assures Performance for Life.
Bronkhorst instruments are used for numerous applications in many different markets. In this section you will find an overview of the main markets for our equipment, illustrated with some typical examples of applications.
Are you looking for technical documentation, are you interested to learn more about the measuring principles of Bronkhorst products, or you do want to get in contact with a Bronkhorst Service Engineer? This section will guide you to the relevant service & support topics.
Bronkhorst High-Tech BV the leaders in Mass Flow Meter / Mass Flow Controller technology for gases and liquids, Pressure Controllers and Evaporation Systems.
Semiconductor chip technology is enhancing our lives in many ways. Emerged from semiconductor technology, MEMS chip technology is also present in devices around you in the form of sensors that add functionality. Think of your smartphone that captures your voice and senses the smartphone position, orientation and movement by means of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Adding those features is barely impacting the physical dimensions of a smartphone and it still fits in your hand and pocket.
This blog is about instrument miniaturization by MEMS chip technology and discusses the benefits of miniaturized gas flow instruments for application in the field of gas chromatography analysis and headspace sampling in specific. As a product manager for MEMS-based instruments at Bronkhorst High-Tech, I can see the benefits of miniaturization by MEMS technology in such applications.
Bronkhorst developed the so called IQ+FLOW product line with instruments based on MEMS chip technology. The product line consists of miniaturized gas flow and pressure meters and controllers, which are suitable for many applications. For instance, analysis equipment in laboratories benefit from the reduced size of the these flow instruments, compared to regular flow instruments.
In this case, MEMS chip technology is an enabler for miniaturization. Additionally, Bronkhorst provides a service to develop customer specific solutions. Hereby, further miniaturization in case of a combination of instruments can be possible. Please have a look at our blog The trend towards miniaturization in flow solutions.
In a laboratory environment, it is advantageous to work with desktop-sized equipment. Advantages of increasing functionalities in table top equipment are: reduced space requirements, enhanced ease of operation and often reduced cost of ownership.
Gas chromatography equipment is a good example of a concentration of functionalities on a small footprint. Many types of gas composition and vapour composition can be analysed with high accuracy and for very low concentration levels. Additionally, there is a certain degree of automation involved. This is all within arm’s reach of a laboratory analyst.
The goal of gas chromatography analysis is to identify and measure the concentration of gas components in an analytical gas sample. Within the gas chromatograph, there can be different arrangements of gas streams, injections, splits, columns and detectors. Within these arrangements, there is often a need for gas flow or pressure control. The picture shows a gas flow controller for the carrier gas stream (red) and a pressure controller for the split flow stream (yellow).
The principle of gas chromatography involves a controlled carrier gas stream that passes an injector, column and detector. A sample gas is injected for a short period of time, creating a gas sample plug. The gas sample plug is separated into gas components across the column, which become visible as peaks during detection. The picture on the right shows an example of a gas chromatography output signal.
Let’s zoom in on dynamic headspace sampling units that are used in combination with gas chromatographs. Headspace sampling is a method that is named after the gas space in a chromatography vial containing a liquid sample. The liquid sample can be a solvent, containing material to be analysed. For example, materials like: volatile organic compounds in environmental samples, alcohols in blood, residual solvents in pharmaceutical products, plastics, flavor compounds in beverages and food, coffee, fragrances in perfumes and cosmetics.
This is explained in the picture. The headspace is the gas space above the liquid sample in a chromatography vial. Dynamic headspace sampling is performed by purging the gas space and the adsorbent. The adsorbent collects the sample gas. After transport, the adsorbent is purged again to release the sample gas into a gas chromatograph.
Where a gas flow controller comes into play is at purging the headspace with a constant Helium or Nitrogen flow for a pre-determined period of time at a specified temperature between 10 - 200 °C. The gas flow, containing the headspace sample gas, passes an adsorbent that collects the headspace sample gas.
The adsorbent is usually made of Tenax TA material. Now, the adsorbent is transported to the inlet of a gas chromatograph. While the adsorbent is heated between 20 - 350°C, a controlled Helium or Nitrogen gas flow passes the adsorbent to release the headspace sample gas into the inlet of the gas chromatograph. The gas chromatograph does its job to analyse the sample. Different signal peaks in time show the different components and their concentration.
For flow instruments, a number of specifications are important in headspace sampling and gas chromatography in general. The IQ+FLOW product line addresses these specifications with small instrument size, fast response, good repeatability, low power, low cost of ownership and the excellent support that you can expect from Bronkhorst.
Nowadays, MEMS chip technology is in many products around you. Bronkhorst is committed to look ahead and find applications that can be enhanced with MEMS chip technology, also in the field of gas chromatography. Feel free to contact us for questions. We will keep you informed!
NL-7261 AK Ruurlo (NL)
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