halogen analysisHere, I am pleased to share two resources (an on-demand webinar and a recently presented poster) for the determination of halogens and total sulfate in difficult sample matrices, such aspetrochemicals and polymers using combustion ion chromatography. (Image is of dyed polymer resins in the lab.)

Sulfur and halogens are present in pharmaceutical raw materials and finished products, such as polymers, wood, petrochemicals, ores, inks, metals, polishing agents, lubricating oil, and electronic components, and since the compounds are corrosive, they can damage industrial equipment, poison catalysts, and damage sensitive electronic components. Many countries also regulate the amount of halogens released into the environment; for example, the EU Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) Directive 2011/65/EU compliance requires the elimination of brominated flame retardant compounds (BFRs) formerly widely used in polymer formulations, such as those used in printed circuit boards. The demonstrated lack of bromide in a sample proves that the material is in compliance with the RoHS prohibition of BFRs.

Typically, sample preparation for the determination of halogens and sulfur in petrochemicals (gases, oils, liquid hydrocarbon products, etc) and materials such as polymers, ores or solder is difficult, time consuming and even hazardous. Oxidative combustion, where the samples are heated in a closed container (a bomb), or complex glass device to 800 to 1100 ˚C has been used to prepare individual samples for ion chromatography. These manual methods are tedious, error prone, not highly sensitive, and slow. Using automated combustion ion chromatography solves these problems and enables a large number of samples to be run quickly, reproducibly and efficiently. This method reduces both time and labor and is ideal for manufacturers who must monitor contamination for quality control or environmental regulation compliance.

On-Demand Webinar: Combustion Ion Chromatography- Solving Difficult to Process Analytical Samples

This 1-hour on-demand webinar (click the title above to access the webinar after filling out a quick registration form) discusses automated combustion ion chromatography applications examples in the petrochemical and environmental industries. The presenters are Kalyani Martinelango, Ph.D., Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Dow Chemical (USA) and Dr. Frank Thomas Lange, Water Technology Center, Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.

They discuss the application of combustion ion chromatography to solve analytical problems in a petrochemical industry setting and fluoride analysis of Absorbable Organically-bound Fluorine (AOF) in aqueous environmental samples.

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Poster: Combustion Ion Chromatography – Enhancing Halogen Detection Using Preconcentration Methods

This poster, (click the title above to download the PDF), was presented at the Pittcon 2014 and discusses how using a sample pre-concentration method with automated combustion ion chromatography provides higher sensitivity determinations of halogens. Page 3 of the poster provides a detailed diagram of of a combustion ion chromatography system.

For the method development, samples were combusted in a Mitsubishi AQF-2100H furnace equipped with a GA210 sparging unit. One mL of the samples were transferred to one of our anion concentrator ion chromatography columns (Thermo Scientific Dionex IonPac UTAC-XLP1 Ultra Trace Anion Concentrator Column) mounted on the injection valve of our integrated ion chromatography system (Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-2100 Integrated RFIC system). The anion analysis was performed using one of our hydroxide-selective anion-exchange ion chromatography columns (Thermo Scientific Dionex IonPac AS15 Hydroxide-Selective Anion-Exchange Analytical Column).

The method demonstrated the limit of detection for the anions to be as low as approximately 10 ppb, with limits of quantitation being approximately 25 ppb.

Additional Resources

  • You might also be interested in our recently released Chromatography Solution Online Center which features many useful and complimentary chromatography tools which can help speed up your analysis. The site is updated on a monthly basis; therefore, do check out the Archives section to see what was previously featured.

If you have questions on the method, columns, or instrument, do enter them in the Comments box below; our experts look forward to hearing from you.