Eight solid stationary phases were examined for their suitability for pyrolysis---gas chromatography (Py-GC) of micro-organisms. With temperature programming these phases offered little advantage over the traditional liquid phase Carbowax 20M, but at an isothermal analysis temperature of 100 °C their use solved many technical problems. Pyrograms were produced containing small numbers of baseline-resolved peaks which eluted within 8 to 25 min. Four to six specimens per hour could be examined with two pyrolysers attached to one chromatograph oven. When a control organism was used to derive normalized results, pyrograms were reproducible with a second column and a second pyrolyser, suggesting that inter-laboratory reproducibility may be possible.

Five different bacterial genera were well discriminated and some differentiation was achieved between different isolates of , but similarity between pyrograms was unrelated to orthodox taxonomic grouping. The best discrimination was achieved with Chromosorb 104, followed by Chromosorb 101 and Tenax-GC. With solid phases and isothermal oven temperatures Py-GC is a promising technique for microbial identification.


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