Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 28(3), 205 (2012).

Polyoxyethylene as the Stationary Phase in Ion Chromatography
Lee Wah LIM,* Li RONG,*,** and Toyohide TAKEUCHI*
*Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
**Department of Chemistry, School of Physics and Chemistry, Xihua University, 999 Jinzhou-Road, Chengdu 610039, China
The present article reviews the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polyoxyethylene (POE) as the stationary phase for the separation of inorganic anions in ion chromatography and discusses about the retention mechanisms involved in the separation of anions on the novel stationary phases. PEG permanently coated on a hydrophobic stationary phase retained anions in the partition mode and allowed us to use high-concentration eluents because the retention of anions increased with increasing eluent concentration for most of the eluents. This situation was convenient to determine trace anions contained in seawater samples without any disturbance due to matrices. Chemically bonded POE stationary phases retained not only anions but also cations. Anions were retained in the ion-exchange mode, although POE chains possess no ion exchange sites. The retention behavior suggested that eluent cations could be trapped among multiple POE chains via ion-dipole interaction, and that the trapped cations worked as the anion-exchange sites. Anions could be separated using crown ether, i.e., cyclic POE, as the eluent additive with a hydrophobic stationary phase, where analyte anions were retained via electrostatic interaction with the eluent cation trapped on the crown ether.