Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Hilton A. Smith

Committee Members

John W. Prados, Jerome F. Eastham, William E. Bull, John A. Dean


Introduction: In recent years the gas chromatographic method has found widespread applications, chiefly for analytical purposes. This method is principally employed for the separation, identification, and quantitative determination of volatile compounds. It is potentially of great value for the quantitative determination of mixtures of the hydrogen isotopes. The development of a rapid, convenient, and inexpensive method for the analysis of the hydrogen isotopes would be a valuable addition to many laboratories, especially those where a mass spectrograph is unavailable. This problem was undertaken in an attempt to develop further the chromatographic method for the separation and quantitative determination of hydrogen and deuterium mixtures.

The term "gas chromatography" describes all chromatographic methods in which the moving phase is a gas. The subject may be subdivided into gas-liquid chromatography and gas-solid chromatography. The former is employed to describe all gas chromatographic methods in which the fixed phase is a liquid, and the latter refers to those methods in which the fixed phase is a solid.

The major difference between liquid chromatography and gas chromatography is the nature of the mobile phase. The former employs an incompressible liquid as the mobile phase, but in the latter the mobile phase is a compressible gas.

The chromatographic methods depend on the distribution of the sample between two phases and the subsequent separation of these two phases. Gas-solid chromatography consists of a solid with a large surface area as a stationary bed, and a gas which percolates through the stationary bed.

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