The Difference Between Anion and Cation Standards

Ion chromatography (IC) is a popular and highly useful technique that involves ions being separated based on their interactions with a resin and an eluent. These are referred to as the stationary and mobile phases, respectively, and these phases will differ between cation- and anion-attracting columns.

Samples are initially pumped into a chromatographic column which includes an ion exchange medium. This enables ionic speeds in the sample to be separated according to their inherent physicochemical properties.

IC instruments tend to employ a range of detectors to determine separated analytes’ retention times. The conductivity detector is the most commonly used detector type for IC applications.

The IC instrument must compensate for any background detector signal originating from the mobile phase to ensure high sensitivity. An appropriately configured IC instrument can deliver high-quality results, even in the ppb to ppm concentration range.

The use of IC standards in ion chromatography is central to pharmaceutical applications. This offers extreme sensitivity while maintaining a dynamic operating range.

IC standards are specially designed certified reference materials ideal for ion exclusion chromatography (IEC) or IC applications. This article explores Inorganic Ventures’ portfolio of IC standards and outlines their applicability to a number of common applications.

Ion chromatography is typically employed in determining concentrations of common anions across a diverse array of solvent types, for example, fluoride, nitrite, nitrate, sulfate, lactate, glutarate and chloride.

The Difference Between Anion and Cation Standards

Image Credit: Inorganic Ventures, Inc.

What is an Anion/Cation IC Standard?

Anion (negatively charged ions) and cation (positively charged ions) standards are two specific types of refined control material. These IC standards are typically utilized in quality control and assurance applications where ion chromatography is used.

Inorganic Ventures’ range of anion and cation IC standards can be custom-made to meet customer specifications. They are also fully NIST-traceable and manufactured to ensure ease of use and stability.

Reagent-grade certified reference materials are essential for effective anion or cation determination. This is especially important when working with samples of undetermined composition.

These reference materials help facilitate robust concentration analysis even at trace levels and the sub-parts per million (ppm) range.

IC standards are suitable for calibrating ion chromatography systems employed in key applications such as characterizing potential toxicity and testing drinking water for cyanides.

IC Standard Solutions from Inorganic Ventures

Inorganic Ventures has a wealth of experience in wet chemistry and advanced fractionation. The company is able to provide a wide range of IC standards, including anion and cation varieties.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Inorganic Ventures, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Inorganic Ventures, Inc.


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