Agilent Technologies, Markes Form Global Thermal Desorption GC, GC/MS Collaboration


SANTA CLARA, Calif., and LLANTRISANT, UK, Feb. 27, 2009

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Markes International Ltd. today announced a strategic alliance for global distribution and market development of analytical thermal desorption (TD) instruments used with gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) systems.

Analytical TD is used to capture and detect trace levels of volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals in a wide variety of samples. Applications include chemical warfare agents, environmental pollutants, emissions from materials, food analysis, flavors and fragrances.

Under the agreement, Markes TD systems and accessories are available globally as original equipment manufacturer items through the Agilent sales force and supported by the Agilent service organization. Additionally, the two companies have agreed to collaborative development and promotion of TD-GC and TD-GC/MS applications.

"We've worked with Markes for about seven years in select regions, and are pleased to extend this relationship to serve our customers worldwide," said Shanya Kane, Agilent vice president and general manager, Gas Chromatography Systems and Workflow Automation.

"Markes International has a reputation as the world leader in thermal desorption technology and its products are renowned for their high quality and performance," said Elizabeth Woolfenden, director of Markes International. "This provides a perfect complement to Agilent as the leading supplier of GC/MS instrumentation globally. The combination of Markes' TD with Agilent's GC/MS systems ensures that customers will get the very best in quality instrumentation and support from a single source."

Markes is a pioneer in TD instrumentation. Its Series 2 UNITY, ULTRA, Air Server and CIA8 products allow manual or automated analysis of samples in standard sorbent tubes, real-time air samples and samples in canisters.

Growing Interest in Analytical Thermal Desorption

Analytical thermal desorption (TD) was first introduced as an accessory for GC and GC/MS in the early 1980s to provide an alternative to solvent extraction for the measurement of (semi-) volatile organic compounds ((S)VOC) in air. Today, TD-GC/MS is recognized as the standard technique of choice for environmental and workplace air monitoring, air monitoring for counterterrorism purposes, and odor/emissions profiling.

Agilent has a long history of innovation in GC and GC/MS, and a reputation for building rugged instruments. Agilent's predecessor, Hewlett Packard, entered the GC market in 1958, and the company has been a leader in GC and GC/MS continuously since then. Firsts include microprocessor control in 1973 and the first benchtop GC/MS system in 1975. In 1996, the HP Model 5973 introduced the gold-plated hyperbolic quartz quadrupole mass filter, a breakthrough in instrument stability and performance. Agilent spun off from Hewlett Packard in 1999, and the GC and GC/MS innovation continued in both hardware and software through the present.

About Markes International Limited

Markes provides an innovative range of instrumentation, accessories and consumables for enhancing trace GC/MS analysis. Products include: thermal desorption (TD) instruments, headspace-TD technology and a broad portfolio of sampling accessories covering air sampling, materials emissions testing, breath sampling, soil gas analysis and direct desorption of volatiles from materials. Further information is available from the company on its Web site, by e-mail or phone +44 (0) 1443 230935.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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Stuart Matlow, Agilent
+1 408 553 7191

Elizabeth Woolfenden, Markes
+44 (0) 1443 230935