75 Years of Chromatography by Leslie S. Ettre, Albert Zlatkis

By Leslie S. Ettre, Albert Zlatkis

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This made considerable impact and we both had some stimulating discussions with Keulemans from Shell, Amsterdam, who was self-evidently the man with the most experience there. It was a memorable first meeting with an aura of gathering expectation and excitement. The next two years were a hectic exploration of this magnificent new technique and we developed methods for gas analysis using Janhk's very simple micronitrometer equipment, the rapid separation of liquid petroleum fractions using the gas density balance at operating temperatures up to 25OoC and constructed a preparative scale unit with a one-inch column capable of separating a few millilitres of sample.

42 Insofar as this account is concerned primarily with the story of my involvement in gas chromatography in the early days, there seems no point in continuing into the consolidation period which occurred during the sixties and seventies. I must, however, refer to the emergence of glass capillaries in 1959. Whyman, in his characteristic way, once again so effectively met our needs for a cheap self-produced capillary column and his first machine produced hundreds of feet of beautiful glass helical coils in a few hours ( 1 4 ) .

41 samples. We were particularly impressed by the separation of a normal paraffin concentrate obtained from petroleum wax by urea adduction. Someone suggested sticking in a few cubic centimetres of tobacco smoke and we were all amazed by the vast number of peaks which kept rolling out. The next two or three years represented a period of activity with capillary columns which, almost every day, produced new surprising results. There was never enough time in any one day to complete the work which had emerged from the previous efforts.

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