Advantages of multidimensional ion chromatography for trace analysis

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The analytical challenge treated in the present work consists in detecting trace concentrations (ppb) of bromide in the presence of a strong chloride matrix. This problem was overcome by separating the bromide ions from the main fraction of the early eluting chloride matrix (several g/L) by applying two sequential chromatographic separations on the same column. After the first separation, the main fraction of the interfering chloride matrix is flushed to waste, while the later eluting anions are diverted to an anion-retaining preconcentration column. After elution in counter flow, the bromide ions are efficiently separated from the marginal chloride residues. The four-point calibration curves for bromide and sulfate are linear in the range of 10…100 µg/L and 200…800 µg/L and yield correlation coefficients of 0.99988 and 0.99953 respectively.   For the method shown here, a second injection valve and a preconcentration column are the only additional devices needed to master this demanding separation problem.