Published: Jan 2011
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Several books [1–4] have been published on ion chromatography (IC). It is a branch of liquid chromatography, and has several unique characteristics to meet the needs of ion analysis. The eluents, or mobile phases, used are often acid, alkaline, or high in salt content. The high-pressure pump used should have an all nonmetallic flow path in order to reliably deliver these eluents without contaminating the column or detection methods used. The ion exchange columns provide the unique ion separation capabilities, while chemically suppressed conductivity detection is the primary detector used for IC. Other detectors such as ultraviolet/visible light absorbance and electrochemical detectors are also often used. Like all forms of liquid chromatography, an IC includes a pump, injection valve, separation column, and detector. Fig. 1 is a representation of a liquid chromatograph used to determine ions. The hardware used to perform IC is similar to that used for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), although it is typically made of inert polymer that is resistant to corrosive acid and base solutions frequently used in IC. Some form of sample introduction device and a means of recording the output signal are also required.
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