Flash-VASE™ provides for precise analysis of VOCs & SVOCs in matrices with low volatility.

  • Packaging
  • Polymers
  • Powders
  • Foams
  • Synthetics
  • Natural Products
  • Heavy Oils
  • Complex Organic Solids
  • Plant Biomass
  • Soils & Sediments
Click to Open Selection Guide of Sorbent Pen Headspace Techniques







Full Name
Vacuum Assisted Sorbent Extraction
Matrix Accelerated VASE
Full Evaporative Vacuum Extraction
(Extremely) Large Volume Static Headspace
Sorbent Pen Type
Vial Size
20, 40, 125mL
20, 40, 125mL, 1L
2, 6, 20mL
2, 6 mL
250, 500, 1000mL
When to Use
Liquid or Solid Sample Compositional Analysis. SPME Alternative
Faster VASE extraction when a volatile matrix is present, such as water or water/alcohol mixture 
Samples with low volatile contents (solids, powders, Cannabis, packaging, oils)
Volatile Matrix with low solid contents (water, beverages, solvent extracts)
Measurement of equilibrated headspace to determine partition coefficients of aroma compounds.
Extraction Technique
Vacuum, Diffusive, Closed System, Mechanical Agitation
Vacuum, Matrix Accelerated, Diffusive Closed System, Convective Agitation
Diffusive Vacuum Thermal Extraction, Closed System
Matrix Evaporative Transfer followed by Diffusive Extraction in Open System. Matrix eliminated
Dynamic, Fully equilibrated headspace, Static, Open System
Vial Temp Range
30° to 70° C
30° to 150° C
30° to 280° C
30° to 280° C
30° to 70° C
BP Range
-50° to 450° C
-50° to 500° C
-50° to 550° C
80° to 550° C
0° to 450° C
Water Management
Cold tray dehyd., Dry Purge, Split Inj.
Cold Tray Dehyd., Dry Purge, Split Inj. Capillary Focusing Trap
Cold tray dehyd., Dry Purge, Split Inj.
Vacuum Removal, Dry Purge
Dry Purge, Split
Typical Pen Cycle Times
100-200 (except not for disposible / replaceable inlet filter)
Competitive Technologies Displaced
Micro Chamber, Direct Thermal Extraction, DHS
SBSE, Hi-Sorb, Full Immersion SPME
All other non-static, low sensitivity techniques
Typical Sorbent Combinations
Tenax, Tenax / CPX, PDMS GB / Tenax, Tenax / Carboxen
Tenax, Tenax / CPX, PDMS GB / Tenax, Tenax / Carboxen
Tenax, Tenax / CPX, PDMS GB / Tenax, Tenax / Carboxen
PDMS / Tenax, Tenax / CPX
PDMS / Tenax, Tenax / Carbopack X
Common Applications
Food, Beverage, Flavor, Aroma, Water, Soil, Consumer Products
Food, Beverage, Flavor, Aroma, Water, Soil, Consumer Products
Volatiles / Odors in Packaging, Polymers, Powders, Foams, Synthetics, Natural Products, Heavy Oils
SVOCs in Water, Flavors / Aromas in Thermally Labile samples, Pesticides in foods.
Aroma / Flavor Profiling


Open System - Unretained compounds/gases allowed to pass through sorbent for removal by pump/vacuum.

Closed System - Completely isolated during extraction, so breakthrough of even the lightest compounds isn't possible. Allows recovery of wider boiling point range.

Flash-VASE is a next generation Thermal Extraction technique that places the sample in very close proximity to the collection sorbent, and uses static extraction under vacuum to more efficiently and completely recover volatile through semi-volatile compounds. Flash-VASE places the sample within 1-2 cm of the collection sorbent, with no flowing gases to heat up the sorbent during the extraction process like with dynamic headspace techniques, so the collected compounds stay optimally close to the front of the sorbent bed for very fast release to the GC. Extraction under a vacuum allows recovery of chemicals at a lower temperature, reducing or avoiding breakdown of the matrix itself. Flash-VASE has a tremendous number of advantages over other thermal extraction techniques, allowing Chemists to truly “See What’s Really There™”, in a way that keeps the analytical system clean and free from carryover.

Flash-VASE is intended for samples containing relatively low moisture levels, as the sample is heated anywhere from 30° C to 280° C while in a closed system, so the potential for generating a substantial amount of vapor during Thermal Extractions should be considered. However, some excess water can be temporarily delivered and condensed on the Sorbent Pen, as post extraction cold tray cooling of the vials can be performed to transfer the moisture back into the bottom of the vial while still under vacuum, and prior to removal of the Pens from the vacuum extraction sleeves.

The Flash-VASE module can be altered to perform MA-VASE (Matrix Accelerated VASE) which performs a “reflux in a vial” under vacuum to further accelerate the transfer of organics into the gas  phase. Just a few additional components allows both techniques to be performed using a single module, supporting a very wide range of sample types. See the MA-VASE TID for more information on this exciting and complementary technique.

Download Technical Information Document

  • Sample is placed under vacuum for more efficient release of chemicals
  • No carrier gas is used, so the exact placement of the sample in the vial will have less effect on recovery.
  • Sample release time is not limited to a GC injection times, so no limitations or compromises are made. The Sorbent Pen can be thought of as a “focusing stage” for slowly outgassing compounds.
  • As soon as compounds are mobile, they are removed from the matrix to avoid additional reactions. No “superheating” needed to try to achieve faster injection rates to improve chromatography
  • No chance for “flash back” contamination of GC carrier gas lines.
  • Carryover is essentially zero, as there are not transfer lines and fittings between the sample matrix and the entrance to the Sorbent Pens
  • Flash VASE is perform in a closed system, so a wider molecular weight range of compounds can be recovered over dynamically purged techniques
  • Excess water can be removed after the extraction by chilling the bottom of the vial. Under vacuum, the water will transfer back to the “coldest” place in the closed system

Flash-VASE utilizes a specialized sample enrichment device called a Sorbent Pen™.

The list of Flash-VASE applications is quite extensive, and this technique can be scaled up to look at outgassing from larger samples as needed, such as in forensic investigations of accelerants in fire debris. Just as in VASE, the presence of a vacuum increases the rate of evolution of volatiles out of materials at lower temperatures, and depending on the matrix or sample surface area, the extraction times can be as short as 2-5 minutes (Cannabis) by heating the sample to 100°-200° C under vacuum. This provides a whole new opportunity for high-speed sample throughput for Flash-VASE compatible applications.

Flash-VASE provides incredibly reproducible results, by eliminating the inconsistencies inherent in dynamically purged Thermal Extractions. Below is an example of 8 replicate Cannabis analyses for Monoterpene and Sesquiterpene profiling, and these 8 runs almost perfectly overlap. The Flash-VASE extraction times in these examples was just 5 minutes, at 100° C. Higher temperatures will yield reproducible recovery of the Cannabinoids present in Cannabis

Transfer a volume or weight of sampling into a 2, 6, or 20mL vial based on the size, concentration of volatiles, and homogeneity of the sample. Assemble the vacuum sleeve and homogeneity of the sample.

Assemble the vacuum sleeve and retaining nut or cap onto the vial and insert a clean Sorbent Pen.

Perform a quick 10-20 second evacuation of the assembly through the top of the Sorbent Pen. The Vacuum will be retained by the vial/Pen assembly during the extraction.

Place the vial into the Flash-VASE extraction module, with the extraction module either preheated or heated after vial introduction. Up to 15 Pen/Vial assemblies can be processed in a single batch process.

After the extraction (2-10 min typical), remove the vials and place in a cold tray to drop the temperature of the vial below that of the Pen to draw any excess water back into the vial.

Remove and place the Pens in an isolation tray, and analyze using a 5800 Sorbent Pen Desorption Unit (5800 SPDU), either one at a time or automated using the Entech SPR40 rail autosampler.

Vacuum sleeves can be cleaned without solvents using a 3700 Thermal Vacuum Cleaning System (3700 TVCS) to remove any residue from the previous analysis.

Diagram: Understanding Sorbent Pen Headspace Equipment (click to open)

Sorbent Pen Options

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Compatible Extraction Technique Description BP Range Part # Link to Product
SP-HSP-0_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Blank / Empty Sorbent PEn NA SP-HSP-0
SP-HSP-PDGB-TNX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE PDMS Glass Beads + Tenax® 100°C to >500°C SP-HSP-PDGB-TNX
SP-HSP-TNX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Tenax® TA 100°C to >450°C SP-HSP-TNX
SP-HSP-TNX-CPX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Tenax® TA + Carbopack™ X 80°C to >450°C SP-HSP-TNX-CPX
SP-HSP-TNX-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Tenax® TA + Carboxen® 1000 -60°C to >450°C SP-HSP-TNX-CXN10
SP-HSP-3TNX-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Tenax® TA + Carboxen® 1000 (75:25 by Vol) -50°C to >425°C SP-HSP-3TNX-CXN10
SP-HSP-TNX-3CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE Tenax® TA + Carboxen® 1000 (25:75 by Vol) -40°C to >400°C SP-HSP-TNX-3CXN10
SP-HSP-PDGB-TNX-CPX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE PDMS Glass Beads + Tenax® + Carbopack™ X 60°C to >450°C SP-HSP-PDGB-TNX-CPX
SP-HSP-CUSTOM_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE, Flash-VASE End User Defined NA SP-HSP-CUSTOM
SP-HSP-KIT01_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 VASE, Flash-VASE Custom Sorbent Pen Kit for Customer Assembly NA SP-HSP-KIT01
SP-FSP-0_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 FEVE, Flash-VASE Blank / Empty NA SP-FSP-0
SP-FSP-PDGB-TXN_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 FEVE, Flash-VASE PDMS Glass Beads + Tenax® 100°C to >500°C SP-FSP-PDGB-TNX
SP-FSP-TXN_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Flash-VASE, FEVE Tenax® TA 100°C to >450°C SP-FSP-TNX
SP-FSP-TNX-CPX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Flash-VASE, FEVE Tenax® TA + Carbopack™ X 80°C to >450°C SP-FSP-TNX-CPX
SP-FSP-TNX-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Flash-VASE, FEVE Tenax® TA + Carboxen® 1000 60°C to >450°C SP-FSP-TNX-CXN10
SP-FSP-CUSTOM_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Flash-VASE, FEVE End User Defined NA SP-FSP-CUSTOM
SP-FSP-525_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Flash-VASE, FEVE Method 525 FSP 100°C to >500°C SP-FSP-525
SP-DSP-0_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Blank / Empty NA SP-DSP-0
SP-DSP-TXN_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Tenax® TA 100°C to >450°C SP-DSP-TNX
SP-DSP-CPC_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Carbopack™ C 125°C to >400°C SP-DSP-CPC
SP-DSP-CPY_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Carbopack™ Y 150°C to >400°C SP-DSP-CPY
SP-DSP-CPX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Carbopack™ X 80°C to >145°C SP-DSP-CPX
SP-DSP-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Diffusive Air Monitoring Carboxen® 1000 -60°C to 80°C SP-DSP-CXN10
SP-ASP-0_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring Blank / Empty NA SP-ASP-0
SP-ASP-PDGB-TNX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring PDMS Glass Beads + Tenax® TA 100°C to >450°C SP-ASP-PDGB-TNX
SP-ASP-TNX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring Tenax® TA 100°C to >450°C SP-ASP-TNX
SP-ASP-TNX-CPX_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring Tenax® TA + Carbopack™ X 80°C to >450°C SP-ASP-TNX-CPX
SP-ASP-TNX-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring Tenax® TA + Carboxen® 1000 -60°C to >450°C SP-ASP-TNX-CXN10
SP-ASP-CPC-CPB-CXN10_semiCutOpen_APRIL2023 Active Air Monitoring Carbopack™ C & B + Carboxen® 1000 -60°C to 400°C SP-ASP-CPC-CPB-CXN10

Sorbent Pen Desorption and Analysis Solutions.

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Description Part # Link to Product
SPR40-5800SPDU-VASE-FLASHVASE SPR40/SPR40A - 40" Robotic Sample Preparation Rail for automated desorption and analysis of all Sorbent Pens. visit product web page for complete list of parts.
Entech-SideBar-Manual-5800SPDU-Desoprtion Entech SideBar - A compact mounting platform for manual Sorbent Pen Desorption. visit product web page for complete list of parts.
5800A-SPDU 5800/5800A SPDU - Sorbent Pen Desorption System. Installs on most GC's (Thermo, Agilent, Shimadzu). visit product web page for complete list of parts.
3108-Sorbent-Pen-Thermal-Conditioner Sorbent Pen Thermal Conditioner - A single position rail mounting conditioning system which returns Sorbent Pens back to sampling ready condition. visit product web page for complete list of parts.

Flash-VASE Modules & Pumps

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
VRES Vial Heater Module, VASE Rail Extraction System, 120VAC/60Hz EA
VRES-HV Vial Heater Module, VASE Rail Extraction System, 240VAC/50Hz EA
VRES-FVVM-2ML 2mL vial Flash-VASE Vial Module EA
VRES-FVVM-6ML 6mL vial Flash-VASE Vial Module EA
VRES-FVVM-20ML 20mL vial Flash-VASE Vial Module EA
10-20100 10-20100 2-Stage Oilless Diaphragm Pump, Dual Voltage 120/240VAC, 50-60Hz EA Product Page

Flash-VASE Extraction Vials, Sleeves, Components, and Accessories

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
2mL Flash-VASE Components
VIAL-V002-11 2mL Clear Vials, wide mouth 11mm Crimp Top 100pk
SP-VS011C Vacuum Sleeve for 2 / 6mL Flash-VASE, EEU Module 10pk
SP-11C-NUT Securing Nut for 11mm Crimp Top Vial (2mL and 6mL) 10pk
OR-L011S-30 2mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve Silicone O-rings 30PK
6mL Flash-VASE Components
VIAL-V006-11 6mL Clear Flash-VASE Vials 100pk
SP-VS011C-10 Vacuum Sleeve for 2 and 6mL Flash-VASE Vials 1
SP-11C-NUT Securing Nut for 11mm Crimp Top Vial (2mL and 6mL) 1
OR-L011S-30 6mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve Silicone O-rings 30pk
20mL Flash-VASE Components
VIAL-V020-24 20mL x 24-400 Clear Screw Top Vial 144pk
VIAL-V020-24-A 20mL x 24-400 Amber Screw Top Vials 144pk
SP-VSLL024-FV-10 Flash-VASE Vacuum Sleeve for 20mL Vials 10pk
FVASE-MCAP024-10 Aluminum Caps for 20mL Vials 10pk
OR-L024S-3 Clean High Temp Silicone O-rings for 20mL vial Vac Sleeves 30pk

VXB - Vacuum X-traction Bars

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
SP-VXB-50.54 SP-VXB-50 Vacuum X-traction Bar (50” VXB), allows 3-4 modules to be attached simultaneously EA Product Page
SP-VXB-50.56 SP-VXB-30 Vacuum X-traction Bar (30” VXB), allows 1-2 modules to be attached simultaneously EA Product Page
SP-VXB-PV-EVAC.50 SP-VXB-PV-EVAC Pen/Vial VXB Evacuation Module EA Product Page

Cold Dehydration Tray and Accessories

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
Water Management
SP-HSCOLDTRAY45-FV Flash-VASE Cold Tray for Dehydration of 15 each of 2, 6, 20mL Vial EA

Vial Platforms and Trays

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
SP-PF-TRAY10-20ML.66 SP-PF-TRAY10-20M 10-Position Platform/Tray for VXB/SPR40, 20/40mL Vials EA Product Page

Flash-VASE Controllers

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
Supports Flash-VASE, 3700, & 3830
VXB-EMC-VASE-12 VXB Mounted Dual Controller for Flash-VASE 1/2 with SPRINT Interface, 120VAC/60Hz EA
VXB-EMC-VASE-12-H VXB Mounted Dual Controller for Flash-VASE 1/2 with SPRINT Interface, 240VAC/50Hz EA
VXB-EMC-VASE-34 VXB Mounted Dual Controller for Flash-VASE 3/4 with SPRINT Interface, 120VAC/60Hz EA
VXB-EMC-VASE-34-HV VXB Mounted Dual Controller for Flash-VASE 3/4 with SPRINT Interface, 240VAC/50H EA

Replacement O-rings

Click to open parts list

Image (click to enlarge) Part # Description Unit link to product
High-Temp O-rings (>180° C)
SP-OR-1565S-30 2/6mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve Silicone O-rings 30pk Product Page
SP-OR-L024S-30 20/40mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve Silicone O-rings 30pk Product Page
Low Bleed O-rings (<180° C)
SP-OR-1565F-30 2/6mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve FKM O-rings 30pk Product Page
SP-OR60-L024-30 20/40mL Vial Vacuum Sleeve FKM O-rings 30pk Product Page

Methods FLASH-VASE Micro-Chamber Extraction Direct Thermal Extraction/DHS
Extraction System / Sample Prep Glass Vials (2, 6, 20, or 40mL) are used as extraction chambers whereby samples are placed under vacuum to reduce required recovery temperatures, with subsequent heating of the vial from ambient up to 280 deg C to extract volatile to semi-volatile compounds Microchamber thermal extraction is a sampling technique used to collect volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) released from products or materials. The technique involves using a compact unit with cylindrical chambers that can withstand temperatures up to 250°C. The released compounds are collected onto sorbent tubes for analysis by TD-GC-MS. DTE (Direct Thermal Extraction) is a technique used to desorb volatile through semi-volatile compounds directly into a GCMS by placing the solid sample into a glass tube and using the GC carrier gas to thermally desorb the sample directly onto the GC column, with optional LN2 focusing
Extraction Technique VASE- Vacuum Assisted Sorbent Extraction in a closed system. No breakthrough possible during sample heating Flow through Dynamic Headspace in an “Open System”. Breakthrough of lighter compounds possible during sample heating while trapping the evolving compounds The tube containing the sample is heated to release the analytes, which are then transferred to the GC column for separation and detection.
Water/Moisture Removal After Extraction, the vial can be cooled to draw moisture back into vial, as typically there is little affinity of moisture to the sorbent. Only possible due to extraction in a “closed system”. Limiting moisture improves GCMS performance Moisture must be purged through the sorbent, resulting in potential loss/breakthrough of lighter VOCs of interest Split injection is the only means to limit the amount of water reaching the GCMS. Water may clog LN2 focuser if excessive.
Desorption System Specialized Thermal Desorption System Installed Into GC. Thermal Desorption System located next to the GC requiring the use of long transfer lines and potentially cold or focusing traps. Extracted analytes are introduced into the GC column either by transfer from a cold trap or by direct injection
Injection Technique Split or Splitless Split or Splitless Split or Splitless
Effective BP Range -40C to 550C, depending on sorbents Highly Dependent on Sorbents due to flow through trapping and further penetration of compounds into sorbents. Potential loss of compounds from sample to trap, through longer flow path Recovery of compounds performed under pressure of carrier gas, which may limit diffusion of heavier compounds out of samples matrix. Recovery is matrix dependent.
Ad/Absorbent Phases All phases, 1, 2, or 3 beds weak to strong. 2 Beds Typical Activated Charcoal, Tenax TA, Carbopack X, and Porapak Q, among others (is this what they state on their website?) No adsorbents used during Direct Thermal Extraction
Carry Over – Extraction System Glass vials are low cost and disposable saving cleaning time. Vacuum sleeves (Sorbent/Vial interface) cleaned using specialized steam + dry cleaning in 1L vials under vacuum. Microchamber must be thoroughly cleaned between sample analysis to avoid carryover. Substantially more surface area to clean up than other two techniques. Residual analytes from previous samples can potentially contaminate subsequent samples, leading to false positives or inaccurate results. Careful cleaning of the DTE system and appropriate blank runs between samples can minimize carryover issues, but they still need to be considered when using this technique.
Carry Over – Adsorbent Traps No active flow through traps, so compounds stay maximally close to trap entrance. More complete recovery during desorption, with far less carryover than Dynamic Headspace Sampling Channeling into sorbent caused by inconsistency in sorbent packing due to expansion and contraction during heating and cooling cycles may require much longer bakeout times to totally remove chemical residual from last sampling event. This is inherent with most Dynamic Headspace sampling techniques No adsorbent used
Distance to head of GC column from heated desorption point. 1-2cm Potentially meters long. Direct GC Inlet.
Advantages of Flash-VASE & Other Key Differentials. No Transfer Lines: Extracted sample is injected nearly at the head of the analytical column avoiding long transfer lines where losses and cross-contamination may occur.

Avoids channeling: Static vacuum extraction allows for a consistent and graduated deposition of analytes based on BP and size, eliminating issues with channeling which can cause losses of heavier compounds that find their way deeper into the adsorbent or potentially into a stronger bed where they may not come off.

Reproducibility Issues: Vacuum eliminates “low flow dead volume” concerns found in other two techniques. The entire sample is exposed to the vacuum and heat equally

Dynamic-Flow Conditions: The use of an extraction gas may cause heavier analytes to deposit deeper than desired in the sorbent trap and may also sweep heavy unwanted compounds onto the trap.

Long transfer lines used in the microchamber technique can cause issues with compound degradation or loss during transfer from the microchamber to the gas chromatography (GC) column. This is because the long transfer lines can cause some of the desorbed compounds to condense or react with the transfer line material or with other compounds in the sample matrix.

Reproducibility Issues: Exposure to the extraction gas may vary based on the cell loading, and the consistency of sample particle size and shape.

Matrix effects: Typically must heat the sample higher than other two techniques, as injection times are limited. Thermal decomposition of the matrix is more likely, which can lead to the formation of interfering compounds and reduce the sensitivity of the analysis.

Incomplete extraction: Some analytes may not be completely extracted due to low thermal stability or short extraction times, leading to lower recoveries and reduced sensitivity.

Reproducibility issues: Exposure to the desorb gas may vary based on the tube loading, and the consistency of sample particle size and shape.

Sample handling concerns: May be difficult to load the sample into ¼" OD glass tubes, requiring further grinding/sample preparation which may cause loss of some compounds.

Flash Back Concerns: May cause contamination if the concentration of volatiles are too high, causing significant gas expansion that can push the sample “backwards” into the carrier gas delivery lines.

Extraction Time 2-20 min  2-20 min  1-5 min 

Download Technical Information Document

Download Technical Information Document

Please complete the form to download the Flash-VASE Technical Information Document or to request a system quote.