Ion chromatography

Ion Chromatography (IC or IEC), gives precise concentrations of charged molecules and ions in the solution. IC can be used to measure nearly any kind of charged molecules, such as water impurities, biomass based sugars, large proteins, small nucleotides and amino acids.

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Ion chromatography (IC), also known as Ion Exchange chromatography (IEC), is a member of the liquid chromatography family. Two types of ion chromatography can be identified depending on their ion exchange capability: anion exchange or cation exchange chromatography. The principle of IC analysis is to separate the different sized and charged molecules from each other as they flow through the column dissolved in a suitable eluent. The separation of the molecules is based on their interactions with the resin that is packed in the column. Smaller molecules and molecules that have low affinity with the resin move through faster and can be detected with an electrical conductivity detector before the larger molecules and those that have stronger affinity. IC can separate almost all charged molecules; anions, cations and polar molecules, and it can detect small quantities.

Suitable sample matrices

  • Liquid and solid samples
  • Aqueous samples

Ideal uses of IC

  • IC-analysis is used in anion concentration monitoring. For example nitrates, nitrite and fluoride are measured from drinking water.
  • In the pharmaceutical industry ion chromatography is used for measuring active pharmaceutical compounds. Also drug degradation products can be studied.
  • Food industry uses IC for detecting acids and sugars.
  • Biomass based sugar analysis can be conducted using IC.
  • Sulphite concentrations are measured for wine quality control.

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Frequently asked questions

What is IC commonly used for?

IC is used to separate and detect ionic compounds in a mixture. It gives precise concentrations of the charged particles in the sample. 

It is a tool for detecting different charged or polar molecules including sugars, proteins, amino acids and even viruses.

What are the limitations of IC?

Only analytes that can be charged are possible to detect with IC.

What kind of samples can be analyzed with IC?

Samples can be in the form of liquids or solids.

Water analysis: ions present in the water sample.

Samples are typically biomolecules like nucleotides and peptides. 

IC is also used for inorganic samples like metals.

What is Measurlabs?

Measurlabs offers a variety of laboratory analyses for product developers and quality managers. We perform some of the analyses in our own lab, but mostly we outsource them to carefully selected partner laboratories. This way we can send each sample to the lab that is best suited for the purpose, and offer high-quality analyses with more than a thousand different methods to our clients.

How does the service work?

When you contact us through our contact form or by email, one of our specialists will take ownership of your case and answer your query. You get an offer with all the necessary details about the analysis, and can send your samples to the indicated address. We will then take care of sending your samples to the correct laboratories and write a clear report on the results for you.

How do I send my samples?

Samples are usually delivered to our laboratory via courier. Contact us for further details before sending samples.