top of page
Technical Notes






S Krishna, A K. Jaiswal, K Chand, T. Millo


ABSTRACT:Gas Chromatography-Headspace (GC-HS) is a commonly used analytical technique in research and industrial laboratories for quality control as well as identification and quantitation of volatile compounds in a mixture. A broad variety of samples can be analyzed as long as the compounds to be identified are sufficiently thermally stable and reasonably volatile. Gas chromatography can be used for the separation of gases, liquids and solids, if dissolved in appropriate solvents. Thermally stable analytes are converted to vapors, separated and detected from a mixture. Gas Chromatography- Headspace has several advantages over other analytical techniques like higher resolution, limited sample preparation compared to other Column chromatographic methods. It is one of the fastest methods of separation with results obtained within minutes, as the sample is directly changed to vapor phase within an equilibrium environment reducing the time and cost of extensive sample preparation before analysis. Sample volume can range between few µl to 1000µl. Its use can be readily understood from breadth of its applications. The range of material which can be analyzed by chromatographic methods is essentially unlimited with applications found in varied fields of Forensic Science, Food and Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Biological and Clinical chemistry, Environmental toxicology and many others.

KEY WORDS: Gas Chromatography- Headspace; Alcohol; Standard Operating Protocol; Internal Standard etc.


  1. Jaiswal AK, Millo T. Handbook of Forensic Analytical Toxicology. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) ltd; 2014.

  2. Jaiswal AK, Millo T, Gupta M. Gas Chromatography and its Forensic Applications- A Review. International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Legal Medicine. 2006;8(2).

  3. Bernal E. Determination of volatile substances in forensic samples by static headspace gas chromatograph. Gas Chromatogr Plant Sci Wine Technol Toxicol Some Specif Appl. 2012;198–224.

  4.  Kolb B, Ettre LS. Static Headspace- Gas Chromatography: Theory and Practice. New York, USA: Wiley- VCH; 1997.

  5. Loffe BV, Vitenberg AG, Manatov IiA. Head-Space Analysis and Related Methods in Gas Chromatography. New York, Wiley; 1984.

  6. Buffington R, Wilson MK. Detectors for Gas Chromatography- A Practical Primer. Hewlett-Packard Avondale Division; 1987.

  7. de Zeeuw J. Gas Solid Gas Chromatography. Encycl Sep Sci Acad Press Ltd. 2000;489–96.

  8. Drozd J, Novák J. Headspace gas analysis by gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 1979;165(2):141–165.

  9. Engewald W, Dettmer-Wilde K. Theory of Gas Chromatography. In: Dettmer-Wilde K, Engewald W, editors. Practical Gas Chromatography [Internet]. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg; 2014 [cited 2017 Sep 17]. p. 21–57. Available from:

  10. Gundel LA, Lee VC, Mahanama KRR, Stevens RK. Alcohol and biological markers of alcohol abuse- Gas Chromatography. Anal Chem. 2000;56(1813):1921–31.

  11. Meyers RA, editor. Instrumentation of Gas Chromatography. Chichester: Wiley; 2000. 13019 p. (Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry).

  12. Seto Y. Determination of volatile substances in biological samples by headspace gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 1994;674(1–2):25–62.

bottom of page