ASTM-E840 Standard Practice for Using Flame Photometric Detectors in Gas Chromatography

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This practice is intended as a guide for the use of a flame photometric detector (FPD) as the detection component of a gas chromatographic system. The different principles of flame photometric detectors, and detector construction are presented in details. The detector sensitivity, minimum detectability, dynamic range, power law of sulphur response, linear range-phosphorus mode, unipower response range, noise and drift, and specificity are presented in details. The photomultiplier dark current is the magnitude of the FPD output signal measured with the FPD flame off. Flame background current is the difference in FPD output signal with the flame on and with the flame off in the absence of phosphorus or sulfur compounds in the flame.





1.1 This practice is intended as a guide for the use of a flame photometric detector (FPD) as the detection component of a gas chromatographic system.

1.2 This practice is directly applicable to an FPD that employs a hydrogen-air flame burner, an optical filter for selective spectral viewing of light emitted by the flame, and a photomultiplier tube for measuring the intensity of light emitted.

1.3 This practice describes the most frequent use of the FPD which is as an element-specific detector for compounds containing sulfur (S) or phosphorus (P) atoms. However, nomenclature described in this practice are also applicable to uses of the FPD other than sulfur or phosphorus specific detection.

1.4 This practice is intended to describe the operation and performance of the FPD itself independently of the chromatographic column. However, the performance of the detector is described in terms which the analyst can use to predict overall system performance when the detector is coupled to the column and other chromatographic system components.

1.5 For general gas chromatographic procedures, Practice E260 should be followed except where specific changes are recommended herein for use of an FPD.

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 4, Hazards.


flame ionization detector (FID); flame photometric detectors (FPD); gas chromatography (GC); packed columns; supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC); ICS Number Code 17.180.30 (Optical measuring instruments); 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

03.06 (Molecular Spectroscopy; Surface Analysis)

To find similar documents by classification:

17.180.30 (Optical measuring instruments Including spectroscopes, geodetic instruments, etc. Ophthalmic optics and instruments, see 11.040.70 Laser equipment, see 31.260 Fibre optics, see 33.180 Optical equipment, materials and components, see 37.020 Photographic equipment lenses, see 37.040.10)

71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis Including spectrophotometric and chromatographic analysis)

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Document Number


Revision Level

1995 R13 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Jan. 15, 2013

Document Type


Page Count

12 pages

Committee Number