May 20th, 2019 Dinner Meeting

CCDG welcomes Dr. Merlin Bicking as our May Dinner Lecture Guest Speaker.

Dr. Bicking has been CCDG’s Liquid Chromatography School instructor for a few years now. His knowledge and experience have been invaluable in assisting students from a variety of chromatography backgrounds.

Merging Business, Chromatography, and Culture in East Africa

Science has the power to positively influence the quality of life for people living in developing countries. However, transferring scientific technology and expertise for the benefit of a society requires more than just donating used equipment. Infrastructure such as utilities, facilities, staff, and budgets must be in place to fully generate any meaningful results from the technology. We often take these factors for granted, but in a third world environment many of these items are missing or of poor quality. In addition, their goals, priorities, and perspectives are significantly different from ours, and sometimes our good intentions can make things worse.

This presentation will focus on our experiences with ChromAfrica LLC, a consulting and training services company based in Nairobi that we founded in 2009 to provide technical training to local scientists. While the initial training events covered chromatographic topics, numerous other sessions have addressed a much wider range of issues, even going beyond laboratory technical training. The many challenges that we encountered revealed some fundamental differences in business practices and culture that require a unique approach to both training and business development. There are significant issues facing the region as they try to integrate their economies into the international community and we will discuss how we, as analytical chemists, are helping.

Finally, we want to answer two other common questions: 1) what is it like to visit Africa, and 2) did you see any wild animals? We will provide some details about life in East Africa, and, yes, there will be some safari pictures!

Dr. Merlin Bicking is the founder of ACCTA, Inc., an analytical chemistry training & consulting firm. With more than 30 years of post-graduate experience in academia, contract research, contract laboratory, and independent consulting, he provides basic through advanced level training on laboratory skills and use of analytical equipment.

His expertise includes analytical separations, method development, and problem- solving, using a wide range of techniques including HPLC, GC, GC/MS, SFE, SFC, FTIR,

NMR, and absorbance spectrophotometry.

Dr. Bicking received a BS. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and a Ph.D. in Organic-Analytical Chemistry from Iowa State University.


MAY 20, 2019

Get your tickets here!

Mickey Finn’s Brewery
345 North Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048

2019 Liquid Chromatography School

2019 Liquid Chromatography School 
May 21-May 23, 2019
Merlin Bicking, Ph.D.
Roosevelt University
1400 N Roosevelt Blvd
Schaumburg, IL  60173
20 hours of  AACC ACCENT® Credit will be awarded to the learner after completion of a short survey at the end of the course.
Registration Fee is $995 which includes textbook, supplies and lunches.

Special Student Registration Fee is $500.
Check out the Registration Link on Eventbrite for more details and be sure to follow CCDG on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates!

Next Dinner Meeting, February 26th in Lisle, IL

February Dinner Meeting

Location: Benedictine University– Goodwin Hall Room 411
Date: February 26th, 2019
Guest Speaker: Dr. John R. Stuff    Bio
Title: Thermal Desorption Techniques for Gas Chromatography


Thermal desorption is an injection technique for gas chromatography wherein the sample is heated to release analytes into the GC carrier gas stream. Different thermal desorption modes and devices can be utilized with a thermal desorber, in order to handle gas, liquid and solid samples.

Direct thermal extraction (DTE) is a thermal desorption technique in which a small amount of sample, typically 10-50 mg, is placed in an empty thermal desorption tube. The sample is heated in the thermal desorption unit under a flow of inert gas, in order to release volatile and semi-volatile compounds from the sample. The analytes are trapped and then analyzed by GC/MS.

The Gerstel Twister is a PDMS coated stir bar which can be used in headspace or immersion mode to extract analytes from either solid or liquid samples. Thin Film SPME (TF-SPME) devices are a 20 mm x 4.8 mm sheet of carbon mesh coated with DVB/PDMS or CAR/PDMS. They also can be used in headspace or immersion mode. Both Twisters and TF-SPME are analyzed by thermal desorption.

Air samples are handled by using thermal desorption tubes packed with a solid sorbent material. Air can be actively pumped through the tube or the sorbent tubes can be used for passive diffusive sampling. The sorbent tubes are analyzed by thermal desorption.

This talk will focus on these techniques and show examples of each.

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