Lauryl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate monoliths were polymerised within fused silica capillaries and subsequently photo-grafted with varying amounts of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA). The grafted monoliths were then further modified with iminodiacetic acid (IDA), resulting in a range of chelating ion-exchange monoliths of increasing capacity. The IDA functional groups were attached via ring opening of the epoxy group on the poly(GMA) structure. Increasing the amount of attached poly(GMA), via photo-grafting with increasing concentrations of GMA, from 15 to 35 %, resulted in a proportional and controlled increase in the complexation capacity of the chelating monoliths. Scanning capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (sC 4D) was used to characterise and verify homogenous distribution of the chelating ligand along the length of the capillaries non-invasively. Chelation ion chromatographic separations of selected transition and heavy metals were carried out, with retention factor data proportional to the concentration of grafted poly(GMA). Average peak efficiencies of close to 5,000 N/m were achieved, with the isocratic separation of Na, Mg(II), Mn(II), Co(II), Cd(II) and Zn(II) possible on a 250-mm-long monolith. Multiple monolithic columns produced to the same recipes gave RSD data for retention factors of <15 % (averaged for several metal ions). The monolithic chelating ion-exchanger was applied to the separation of alkaline earth and transition metal ions spiked in natural and potable waters.
- Capillary chelation ion chromatography
- Iminodiacetic acid
- Porous polymer monolith