Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 25(7), 851 (2009).

Indirect Detection of Ethylene Glycol Oligomers Using a Contactless Conductivity Detector in Capillary Liquid Chromatography
Toyohide TAKEUCHI, Anang SEDYOHUTOMO, and Lee Wah LIM
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
Ethylene glycol oligomers were visualized by indirect conductimetric detection based on dilution of the mobile phase due to the analytes. A high electrical conductivity background was maintained by the addition of 5 mM sodium nitrate in the mobile phase, and the analytes were visualized by decreases in the background when they eluted. A capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detector was convenient to monitor effluents from the microcolumn with minimum extra-column band broadening. The signals as negative peaks were linear to the concentration of the analytes, and a concentration detection limit of 0.025% was achieved for tetraethylene glycol at S/N=3, corresponding to the mass detection limit of 38 ng for 0.15 μl injection. The logarithm of the retention factor of ethylene glycol oligomers was linear to the degree of polymerization (DP) as well as to the acetonitrile composition in the mobile phase. These situations allowed us to estimate the DP of eluted ethylene glycol oligomers by using a few oligomers with known DP. The dynamic reserve, defined as the ratio of the background to its noise level achieved under the present conditions, was 2.3 × 105 which was much larger than that achieved by UV absorption detection. The present method was applied to profile ethylene glycol oligomers contained in commercially available PEG reagents.