analysis of cations Worldwide, one of the most important applications of ion chromatography (IC) remains the determination of common inorganic anions and cations in drinking water and, in the mid-1980s, the US EPA approved IC for compliance monitoring of common inorganic anions in U.S. drinking water (see U.S. EPA Method 300.0.1). Of course, numerous regulatory IC methods have been published in countries, such as Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, and many standards organizations, such as the ISO, ASTM, and AWWA have validated IC methods for the determination of inorganic anions and cations in drinking water.

Many anions in drinking water are regulated for their toxic effects: for example, high levels of fluoride cause skeletal and dental fluorosis, and nitrite and nitrate can cause fatal methemoglobulinemia in infants. Other common anions, such as chloride and sulfate, are considered secondary contaminants and can affect odor, color, and certain aesthetic characteristics in drinking water. In the US in particular, drinking water is also frequently monitored for the presence of sodium, and ammonium is monitored in process wastewaters.

Application Brief 133, Cost-Effective Determination of Inorganic Anions and Cations in Municipal Drinking Water Using Capillary Ion Chromatography, (downloadable PDF) describes the determination of inorganic anions and cations in drinking water using our capillary ion chromatography system (Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-5000 capillary IC system) provides the advantage of scaling down from standard bore to capillary scale. The system provides extremely fast turnaround from sample submission to results: all anions were separated and eluted within 13 min and all cations of interests were determined within 12 min!

You might also be interested in reading up on our newly released Capillary Fast IC columns that facilitate separations up to 4 times faster than conventional columns.

Let us know if you are using capillary IC in your analytical work in the comments box below. Also, don’t forget to add any questions or comments you might have regarding this application. Our experts will be pleased to answer your questions.