Analytical Chemistry Course (Africa Programme)

Protechnik Laboratories, Pretoria, South Africa

13 – 24 May 2019

This analytical chemistry course is being held under the OPCW Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa on the Chemical Weapons Convention. The course is supported jointly by the Secretariat and Protechnik Laboratories (Pty) Ltd in South Africa, and will be held at the Protechnik Laboratories.


The course is intended for chemistry professionals from industry, government, or academia who are involved in the analysis, synthesis, or quality control of chemicals related to the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”). The course will enable participants to gain a sound working knowledge of the principles, procedures, and applications of gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for the analysis of chemicals related to the Convention. The course will accommodate 20 international participants.


The first part of the course will concentrate on teaching the participants the basic principles of chromatography, particularly gas chromatography, with a basic introduction to gas chromatography principles. This will include hardware and variations of hardware, inlet possibilities, column dimensions and varieties, introduction to detectors that can be used, maintenance of a gas chromatograph, and practical demonstrations during which participants will be afforded hands-on training.

The second part of the course will focus on preparing environmental samples for analysis with gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The basic principles of mass spectrometry will be introduced. Hands-on training will be provided to prepare the participants to handle different sample matrices for preparation to analyse with gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Different detectors and ionisation modes (chemical and electron) will be used in analysing the samples prepared by the participants. Extraction and derivatisation techniques will also be taught. The use of libraries, software, and identification techniques will also be demonstrated to identify compounds related to the Convention. At least half of the time will be spent on hands-on training.

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