Headspace technique is adaptable to meet a variety of analytical challenges. Volatile compounds in almost any sample matrix can be determined simply and quickly by headspace gas chromatography.
This technique involves the sample collection into a vial, that is immediately sealed. The volatile components diffuse into the gas phase until a state of equilibrium is reached. This process can be facilitated trough the heating and agitation of the vial. The sample is then taken from the headspace and can be analyzed.
Headspace sampling, therefore, provides a solvent-free extraction of volatile compounds from liquid and solid samples, while eliminating the time-consuming and error-producing steps required in other GC sample-preparation techniques, such as purge and trap or solvent extraction.
The productivity advantages include fewer problems related to carryover, cross-contamination, and foam formation (which are typical with purge-and-trap techniques). So you can extract more data from your samples in less time and at the lowest possible cost per sample.
Samples can be sealed in headspace vials at the point of collection, reducing analyte losses that can occur with other techniques during sample handling and storage.