Measuring organic acids and inorganic anions with ion chromatography mass spectrometry

Feb 28 2023

Author: Dr. Katinka Ruth on behalf of Metrohm AG

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Two robust and sensitive analytical techniques – ion chromatography (IC) and mass spectrometry (MS) – can be combined, forming a more powerful technique: IC-MS. Superior to other analytical techniques, this multi-parameter method determines various organic acids and inorganic anions in one run.

This White Paper focuses on selected IC-MS applications for the straightforward identification and quantification of organic acids and inorganic anions in different matrices. Some applications discussed include measuring trace levels of anions in solvents, ionic impurities (e.g., adipate, bistriflimide, tetrafluoroborate, trifluoromethanesulfonate, or hexafluorophosphate) in organic matrices, low concentrations of short-chain aliphatic organic acids (e.g., shikimic acid) next to high amounts of oxalic or citric acid in beverages, oxyhalides in drinking water, and determination of low amounts of glycerate and glycolate in urine without common disturbances of inorganic anions like chloride which are commonly found in such a matrix. High sensitivity and selectivity of MS combined with the excellent separation capability of IC shows the superiority of IC-MS over UV/VIS or conductivity, since analytes can be resolved and detected at low concentration levels even in complex matrices and/ or the presence of interfering ions.

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