Ion Chromatography Instrumentation

A diagram of a basic ion chromatograph is shown in figure 12.

Figure 12. Basic Layout of an Ion Chromatograph At the start there is a series of mobile phase reservoirs that can contain a range of different mobile phases that can be used individually, blended or for mobile phase programming purposes. Some instruments may have up to six reservoirs available but in many applications only two different mobile phases are required and in ninety per cent of all applications three reservoirs will be quite adequate. In general liquid chromatography, the reservoirs can be stainless steel but in ion chromatography where the mobile phases can have extreme pH values the reservoirs need to be made of glass or preferably a suitable plastic such as PEEK (polyether-ether-ketone). The advantage of PEEK is that it is also inert to many organic solvents that may need to be used in the mobile phase. In fact all components of an ion chromatograph that may come in contact with either phase of the distribution system should be constructed from appropriate inert material. This includes all mobile phase conduits, valves, pumps, sampling devices, columns, detector sensor cells etc. The solvent reservoirs are connected to a solvent selection valve and a solvent programmer where a particular solvent or particular solvent program can be selected. The solvent then passes from the selector/programmer to a high pressure pump. The mobile phase passes from the pump to the sampling device, usually a simple rotating valve that, on rotation, places the sample, in line with the mobile phase flow which, then, passes onto the column.

. The computer output is either observed on a monitor or presented in printed form by the computer printer. The detector is usually a electrical conductivity detector but the UV detector and other types of detector can also be used under certain circumstances.The exit flow from the column passes either to a ion suppressor (which will be discussed later) or directly to the detector. that is now linearly related to ion concentration. The output from the detector sensor is modified by the detector electronics and the electronically modified output. is either passed to a potentiometric recorder (now largely obsolete) or to an A/D converter and thence to a computer.

nitrite. known as eluent. potassium. and magnesium in the parts-per-billion (ppb) range. and sulfate. runs through the column. such as fluoride. the absorbed ions begin separating from the column.What is Ion Chromatography? Ion chromatography is used for water chemistry analysis. Sample solutions pass through a pressurized chromatographic column where ions are absorbed by column constituents. as well as major cations such as lithium. Montana State University. How Does Ion Chromatography Work? Ion chromatography. calcium. Photo by Monica Bruckner. measures concentrations of ionic species by separating them based on their interaction with a resin. This ion chromatography machine can analyze water chemistry. Ion chromatographs are able to measure concentrations of major anions. ammonium. a form of liquid chromatography. Ionic species separate differently depending on species type and size. courtesy of the Skidmore Lab. The retention time of different species determines the ionic concentrations in the sample. Concentrations of organic acids can also be measured through ion chromatography. Applications Some typical applications of ion chromatography include: y Drinking water analysis for pollution and other constituents . As an ion extraction liquid. chloride. nitrate. sodium. Bozeman.

The collection vial should likewise be rinsed three times with filtrate before being filled brim-full of sample filtrate. Preparation and Concerns Liquid Samples: Liquid samples should be filtered prior to evaluation with an ion chromatograph to remove sediment and other particulate matter as well as to limit the potential for microbial alteration before the sample is run. Solid samples and Organic Liquids Solid samples can be extracted with water or acid (cations) to remove ions from the sample surface. with no maximum limits. Data Output and Analysis .y y y Determination of water chemistries in aquatic ecosystems Determination of sugar and salt content in foods Isolation of select proteins How to . Samples should be stored cold until they can be processed. The minimum sample required for a solid sample is approximately 2-3 cm2 for solids. The minimum sample required for analysis is approximately 5mL. Liquid samples must also be filtered and stored cold until analysis can be performed.45um (or smaller) filters.Sample Collection. Aqueous samples should be collected using a sterile syringe or bottle rinsed three times with sample water and then filtered through 0. with no maximum limits.

where a larger area correlates with a higher concentration of a particular ion species. The upper graph shows cation concentrations and the lower graph depicts anion concentrations from dilute glacial waters. The diagram on the upper left shows how an ion chromatograph works to output data. Most ion .This schematic diagram of an ion chromatography run depicts how elution time correlates to output peak data. Image and data from Monica Bruckner. The elution time. varies for each ion species as they elute from the column separately as the pH and/or ionic strength of the eluent is increased. This ion chromatograph displays data from an anion analysis of glacial waters. The graphs on the upper right display typical data output from an ion chromatography run. Each peak represents a separate ion from the sample solution. Each peak represents the concentration of each anion. The concentration of ions moving through the column at a particular time is represented by the height and the breadth of the peaks and can be correlated to the concentration of a particular species in the sample solution. This ion chromatograph displays data from a cation analysis of glacial waters. Ion concentrations can be calculated using the area under each peak. Each peak represents the concentration of each cation. or time it takes for the ion to move through the column.

.chromatography machines provide software that calculates this area. which users can convert to ppm or other quantity using calibration standard solutions.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful