Analysis of produced water contaminants by ion chromatography

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The analytical challenge treated by the present work consists in detecting sub-ppm quantities of bromide, sulfate, aliphatic monocarboxylic acids and several alkaline earth metals in the presence of very high concentrations of sodium and chloride. Bromide, sulfate, acetate and butyrate can be reliably determined by suppressed conductivity detection. Due to matrix effects, propionate can only be detected qualitatively. This drawback can be overcome by coupling the ion chromatograph (IC) to a mass spectrometric (MS) detector. This results in reduced matrix interferences and significantly enhanced sensitivities. The cations magnesium, barium and strontium are determined by non-suppressed conductivity detection.