Sample introduction at the autosampler of ion chromatography (© A. Schroll/BGC)

Ion chromatography

Ion chromatography (IC) enables us to analyse a wide variety of ions from water, plant and soil extracts in addition to elemental and sum parameters. In ion chromatography, the sample material is separated by the different charge of its individual components between a stationary and a mobile phase. The proportions of the ions in demand in the sample are detected one after the other by detection according to their retention time.

For measurement, the liquid sample material is transferred into tubes and placed on the sampler of the measuring device. With the help of a high-pressure pump, the injected sample is passed in the eluent flow over the system of pre-columns and separation columns and the respective components are effectively separated according to their retention times in the ion exchange process. One after the other, the individual ions are fed to a conductivity detector, where they are recorded qualitatively and quantitatively. A suppressor connected in front of the detector lowers the background conductivity of the eluent and improves the detection sensitivity of the analyte. The data is evaluated via the device-specific MagicNet software.


Our 2-channel IC system enables the simultaneous determination of anions and cations from various sample materials. We measure the anions fluoride, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, bromide, phosphate and sulphate as well as the cations sodium, ammonium, manganese, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Due to the large number of analytes measured, a sample analysis takes an average of 56 minutes.

To ensure the highest accuracy and precision of our measurements, the measuring instruments are regularly maintained and checked daily. In each newly started measurement sequence, chemical standards and certified reference materials are analysed before the samples are measured to prove the quality of the measurements.


Analytes:                       F-, Cl-, Br-, NO3-, NO2-, PO43-, SO42-

                                        NH4+, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+

Sample material:           Water samples & plant extracts

Sample volume:          > 5 mL

Sample preparation:

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