Anions Analysis in Ground and Tap Waters by Sequential Chemical and CO2-Suppressed Ion Chromatography

Glen Andrew D. De Vera, Ma. Pythias B. Espino


An ion chromatographic method using conductivity detection with sequential chemical and CO2 suppression was optimized for the simultaneous determination of fluoride, chloride, bromide, nitrate,phosphate and sulfate in ground and tap water. The separation was done using an anion exchange column with an eluent of 3.2 mM Na2CO3 and 3.2 mM NaHCO3 mixture. The method was linear in the concentration range of 5 to 300 μg/L with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99 for the six inorganic anions. The method was also shown to be applicable in trace anions analysis as given by the low method detection limits (MDL). The MDL was 1μg/L for both fluoride and chloride. Bromide, nitrate, phosphate and sulfate had MDLs of 7 μg/L, 10 μg/L, 9 μg/L and 2 μg/L, respectively. Good precision was obtained as shown in the relative standard deviation of 0.1 to 12% for peak area and 0.1 to 0.3% for retention time. The sensitivity of the method improved with the addition of CO2 suppressor to chemical suppression as shown in the lower background conductivity and detection limits. The recoveries of the anions spiked in water at 300 μg/L level ranged from 100 to 104%. The method was demonstrated to be sensitive, accurate and precise for trace analysis of the six anions and was applied in the anions analysis in ground and tap waters in Malolos, Bulacan. The water samples were found to contain high concentrations of chloride of up to 476 mg/L followed by sulfate (38 mg/L), bromide (1 mg/L), phosphate (0.4 mg/L), fluoride (0.2 mg/L) and nitrate (0.1 mg/L).

Keywords: Ion chromatography, chemical suppression, CO2 suppression, anions

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