Ion Chromatography - RoHS Testing for Hazardous Substances in Electronic Equipment by LSM Analytical Services


LSM Analytical Services offer a large and diverse range of modern analytical testing facilities that cater for a vast range of industry sectors. LSM’s success has been achieved by building on a strong reputation for low cost, fast accurate turnaround. The laboratory activities are backed up by accreditation to the ISO 17025 (UKAS) and 9001:2000 laboratory and quality management standards. LSM is able to offer complete analytical solutions from its internationally recognised team of technical experts, with in depth knowledge, allowing its customers to benefit from impartial guidance.

LSM’s range of analytical services includes:

What is Ion Chromatography?

Ion chromatography, or ion exchange chromatography to give its full name is a process that allows the separation of ions and polar molecules based on the charge properties of the molecules. Methods have been used since 1850, although it is only since the 1970s that methods for automatic analysis have been developed.

Applications of Ion Chromatography

Ion chromatography is a powerful technique for determining low concentrations of ions. It involves the retention of analyte molecules from the sample being retained based on ionic interactions.

The Process of Ion Chromatography

The method starts with the introduction of a sample into a sample loop of known volume. An aqueous solution (mobile phase) carries the sample from the loop onto a column containing a stationary phase (typically a resin or gel matrix). The stationary phase contains charged groups. The target analytes are retained on the stationary phase. The analytes of interest are detected by some means, typically by conductivity or light absorbance.

RoHS Testing in Electronic Equipments Using Ion Chromatography

RoHS (Restrictions on the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment EEE) is a European directive, which came into force in the UK in 2006. The directive bans the placing on the European market of new EEE more than agreed levels of the following:

  • lead
  • cadmium
  • mercury
  • hexavalent chromium
  • polybrominated biphenyl (PPB)
  • polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)

Producers need to determine if the EEE they are placing in the European market falls within the RoHS regulations; the first decision being whether the goods fall into one of the 10 categories listed under WEEE above.

Source: LSM Analytical Services

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