Ion Chromatography - The Ion Chromatograph

Despite his suggestions, however, it has taken nearly fifty years for his concepts to to be brought to fruition. The major hindrance to the development of LC was the lack of a high sensitive detector and it was not until the refractive index detector was developed by A. Tiselius and D. Claesson in 1942 that the technique could be effectively developed.

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Figure 28. The Metrohm Proces Control Ion Chromatograph

Once the technique of chromatography had become established as a viable method of separation, it was not long before the technique of ion chromatography evolved. Ion chromatography, as already explained is only a minor modification of traditional liquid chromatography and, initially, the basic instruments of liquid chromatography could be used with little modification to establish the viability of ion chromatography. The development of the ion chromatography system was aided by a strong need for the technique in pollution studies and biochemical separations. A photograph of a modern ion chromatograph is shown in figure27.

Today the technique is well developed and suitable equipment is readily available for quiite complex and sophisticated ion separations. Ion chromatographs are now used frequently for process control and process monitoring. The process control ion chromatograph is essentially the same as a laboratory model except is built to withstand the hardships involved with life in a chemical plant. The industrial ion chromatograph may include process control systems that can operate the plant from the analyses provided by the ion chromatograph. A photograph of a industrial process control ion chromatograph is shown in figure 28.