Hyphenated Techniques - Evolved Gas Analysis

TGA/STA-GC-MS Coupling

Highly Sensitive Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) Coupling to Thermal Analyzers for Precise Identification of Gas Species

How to best identify the evolved gases in complex gas mixtures? Separate the gas species first! 

The primary scope of TGA/STA-GC-MS coupling is to detect, separate and analyze organic components.
GC is a high-resolution method for separating volatile and semi-volatile compounds. The gas mixtures are separated based on the differences in component distribution between a stationary phase (e.g. inner coating of a capillary) and a mobile phase (purge gas; e.g., helium). Since the gas separation in the GC column takes a certain amount of time (the duration depends on sample characteristics, column flow rate, column length, and stationary and mobile phase), it is not possible to couple directly into the GC with a continuous online sample gas flow.

The NETZSCH Solution: Quasi-Direct Coupling

Our response therefore, was to develop a direct coupling solution in a quasi-continuous mode by using heated automatic valves, this allows for software-controlled gas sampling (flow-through sampling loop) and gas injection even at short intervals.


  • Unique TGA/STA-GC-MS coupling solution
  • Perfectly heated gas transfer (300°C) from the thermal analyzer to the valve box and the injector at the GC
  • Glass-lined steel pipe allows for forced flow by pumping through the sampling loop

Valves-Based Gas Injector

  • Double-loop system for short injection intervals 
  • Software integrated in Proteus® 
  • Special insulation design for constant temperature (up to 350 °C) to prevent cold spots 
  • Easy GC integration via standard S/SL injector 
  • Quick connection too allow fast switch between
  • TG coupling and standard application (e.g. liquid sampling) 
  • Possible to bypass the column for direct MS coupling 
  • In-build flow control system to ensure reliable gas transfer


Gas Chromatograph

  • Split, splitless, pulsed split injection modes 
  • GC furnace up to 450°C 
  • Fast change of column without venting the MS (option) 
  • Multiple columns available for specific applications

Mass Spectrometer

  • State-of-the-art MS 1.5 u to 1022 u with a high-speed sampling rate up to 22.222 u/s
  • Tool-free servicing, e.g., simplified ion source maintenance without any need for tools
  • Multiple ionization modes (optionally available EI, PI, CI, etc.)
  • Stand-alone MS measurements

For GC-MS coupling, we rely on the world-renowned suppliers, Agilent and Jeol. Their products allow for perfect GC-MS supply and service quality, as we at NETZSCH expect of any entity with which we do business. This guarantees optimized performance for our own products.


TGA measurement of polycarbonate (PC) in correlation to the corresponding total ion current in the continuous mode

Analysis of, Such Substances as Additives, Stabilizers, and Solvents in

  • Food
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics
  • Polymers
  • Biomass

GC-MS Measurement Information

  • Separation of complex gas mixtures
  • Gas detection and identification
  • Compositional analysis
  • Solid-gas reaction
  • Decomposition products
  • Pyrolysis gases
  • Combustion products
  • Flue gas identification
  • Identification of additives (e.g., plasticizers)



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