Ion-interaction chromatography on a short (30×4.6 mm) 3 μm ODS column has been investigated with the aim of developing fast chromatographic separations of selected inorganic anions. Tetrabutylammonium chloride (TBA-Cl) was used as the ion-interaction reagent in mobile phases that also contained up to 20% methanol. Separations of simple test mixtures of up to eight UV absorbing anions illustrated how excellent efficiencies (>50 000 plates/m) could be obtained under optimized conditions. The use of an optimised mobile phase containing 20 mM TBA-Cl and 20% methanol resulted in the baseline separation of five important anions (iodate, bromate, nitrite, bromide and nitrate) in a separation window of just 28 s, with a shortest total analysis time of 50 s. The method was briefly applied to the rapid analysis of nitrite and nitrate in both a drinking water and a river water sample with a view to future on-line monitoring.
- Fast ion-interaction chromatography
- Inorganic anions