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What is headspace?
'Headspace' is the gas space above the
sample in a chromatography vial.
Volatile sample components diffuse into
the gas phase, forming the headspace gas.
Headspace analysis is the analysis of the
components present in that gas.
Headspace analysis is most suited
for very volatile analytes, in solid or
Residual solvents in pharmaceuticals
Flavors in beverages
Fragrances in cosmetics
Alcohol in blood / urine
Minimal sample preparation. In fact,
almost no sample preparation.
Can be used for difficult sample
matrices like blood, powders, pastes,
Easy to automate
Headspace vials and septa
The right vials and septa must be
Headpace vials are flat-bottomed or
round-bottomed, from 6ml to 20
Septa and crimp caps are used to
ensure no leaks.
Partition co-efficient (K value)
K value directly affects the efficiency
of headspace analysis.
Lower the K value, higher the
sensitivity of the analysis.
K value can be lowered by:
increasing sample temperature
or by adding inorganic salts to the
Cs = concentration of the analyte
in the solid phase
Cm = concentration in gas phase.
Phase ratio (b value)
Lower b value will yield higher
b value can be lowered by
increasing the sample volume.
Vs = volume of solid phase
Vg = volume of gas phase
Typical headspace analyser
Automatically analyse upto
50 methods can be stored.
Motorised needle for
automatic sample injection
Needle is automatically
cleaned between analyses.
Can be connected to any
•Determination of residual
solvents in pharmaceuticals by
USP method 467
•Residual solvents are used or
produced in the manufacture of
•USP 467 specifies headspace
analysis for the estimation of