ASTM E594 - 96(2011)

    Standard Practice for Testing Flame Ionization Detectors Used in Gas or Supercritical Fluid Chromatography

    Active Standard ASTM E594 | Developed by Subcommittee: E13.19

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.06


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    ASTM E594

    Significance and Use

    Although it is possible to observe and measure each of the several characteristics of a detector under different and unique conditions, it is the intent of this recommended practice that a complete set of detector specifications should be obtained at the same operating conditions, including geometry, flow rates, and temperatures. It should be noted that to specify a detector's capability completely, its performance should be measured at several sets of conditions within the useful range of the detector. The terms and tests described in this recommended practice are sufficiently general so that they may be used at whatever conditions may be chosen for other reasons.

    The FID is generally only used with non-ionizable supercritical fluids as the mobile phase. Therefore, this standard does not include the use of modifiers in the supercritical fluid.

    Linearity and speed of response of the recording system or other data acquisition device used should be such that it does not distort or otherwise interfere with the performance of the detector. Effective recorder response, Bonsall (5) and McWilliam (6), in particular, should be sufficiently fast so that it can be neglected in sensitivity of measurements. If additional amplifiers are used between the detector and the final readout device, their characteristics should also first be established.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the testing of the performance of a flame ionization detector (FID) used as the detection component of a gas or supercritical fluid (SF) chromatographic system.

    1.2 This recommended practice is directly applicable to an FID that employs a hydrogen-air or hydrogen-oxygen flame burner and a dc biased electrode system.

    1.3 This recommended practice covers the performance of the detector itself, independently of the chromatographic column, the column-to-detector interface (if any), and other system components, in terms that the analyst can use to predict overall system performance when the detector is made part of a complete chromatographic system.

    1.4 For general gas chromatographic procedures, Practice E260 should be followed except where specific changes are recommended herein for the use of an FID. For definitions of gas chromatography and its various terms see recommended Practice E355.

    1.5 For general information concerning the principles, construction, and operation of an FID, see Refs (1, 2, 3, 4).

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific safety information, see Section 5.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E260 Practice for Packed Column Gas Chromatography

    E355 Practice for Gas Chromatography Terms and Relationships


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.180.30 (Optical measuring instruments); 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41113004(Flame ionization analyzers)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0594-96R11

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