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The New Agilent 8890 Gas Chromatograph


Anatune’s Alan Lockley and Lisa McGowan attended the launch of the new Agilent 8890 GC in Barcelona last week. Here is a brief summary of what they saw.

Quick Guide

Definitely an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary product, it nevertheless contains some cute technology and has a distinct ‘internet of things’ flavour (which your IT dept may not let you taste).

Soon, we’ll all have one!

  • This is an all new instrument to replace the Agilent 7890. They don’t share a single part in common.
  • The 8890 is produced in the USA (Little Falls) and China.
  • The 8890 oven has the same oven design and dimensions as the 7890. Thermodynamics remain the same.
  • For installation onto MSDs, the 8890 will be backwards compatible as far back as the 5975 and 8890/60 backwards compatible to B.04.03 ChemStation.
  • GC has completely new electronic architecture, 8 heated zones, 4 valves, 4 detectors (3 mounted on the top of the oven, 1 on the side).
  • New 6th generation EPCs used. Taken from Intuvo design (Intuvo and 8890 EPCs are not interchangeable).
  • New EPCs have a micro channel design to reduce EPC clogging.
  • 8 EPCs can be loaded into the GC. Installing and removing EPCs no longer requires tools.
  • AUX EPC now discontinued. Replaced by PSD (Pneumatic Switching Device).
  • Collision cell EPCs will now come factory installed in the GC.
  • Mechanical power switch removed, now uses an electronic power switch, that changes colour depending on the status of the instrument.
  • Reference chromatographs (FID check out standards) are preloaded into the GC firmware. GC uses these as a reference to check system performance. No data system required to perform installation checkout anymore.
  • 8890 supports 15 different detector types.

User Maintenance

  • The split-vent trap housing now has a quick release system.
  • GC uses smart algorithms to monitor consumable usage. The GC will suggest when consumables need replacing.
  • GC now has the following self-tests:
    • Leak and restriction
    • Pressure decay test
    • Split vent restriction test
    • Gas tank pressure test (sets inlet pressure to maximum required for the oven profile, GC checks to see if it can achieve the required pressure – it can automatically do this for all methods that are loaded in a sequence (it does the test during the ALS step, so the analytical cycle time isn’t affected).
    • Septum purge flow test
    • All manuals, links to websites and job aids auto-install and can be accessed from the GC touch screen. Full help information is available through a web browser.
    • GC E-familiarisation is built into the GC, customer can now get to know their GC using the touch screen.
    • GC performance monitoring – GC can check noise, peak area, peak shape and resolution of chromatograms.

Service Support

  • The 8890 has much more powerful self diagnostic features. If you are allowed to connect your instrument to the internet, Support Engineers can now remotely log into the GC to diagnose errors.
  • EPCs also have auto leak checking inbuilt. They also sit inside a cooled chamber (new fan on the back of the GC sucks in air to keep their temperature stable).

Techy Stuff

  • The 8890 has a dual-core processor onboard and 16GB of storage.
  • The 8890 uses smart keys – to auto configure columns and record column history and usage.
  • A power USB port on the front of the GC, can operate an oven torch or charge a mobile phone.
  • 8890 uses 227 sensors to measure various parameters.
  • GC has its own internal OS, it is based on Linux.
  • GC browser interface is accessible via the GC touch screen, a tablet/iPad or web browser using the GC’s IP address. You can access the GC from anywhere in the world, providing you have an internet connection (again, dependent upon your IT dept).

Anatune will be transitioning from the 7890 to the 8890 over the next year or so.



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