Reagent-Free Ion Chromatography with Eluent Generation (RFIC-EG)

Just add water to generate eluent

Dionex ion chromatography products continue to be innovative and incorporate an expanding set of capabilities to increase the power of ion analysis. Advances in eluent generation and electrolytic suppression technologies are enabling a wider variety of applications and increased productivity. Our reagent-free IC (RFIC) systems with eluent generation (RFIC-EG) combine automated eluent generators and electrolytically regenerated suppressors to electrolytically create the required eluents and regenerants used for IC applications. Plumb in a clean source of deionized water, and the RFIC-EG system takes care of the rest. See below to learn more.


What is RFIC-EG?

Systems with reagent-free IC eluent generation (RFIC-EG) automatically generate high-purity hydroxide, carbonate, bicarbonate, or methanesulfonic acid (MSA) eluents electrolytically using Dionex EGC Eluent Generation Cartridges. All that’s needed on an RFIC-EG system is a high-purity source of deionized water. The system will automatically generate eluent at the concentration you indicate for use in isocratic or gradient methods. Interestingly, this means that gradient analyses can be accomplished using an isocratic pump. Eluent is purified inline using the Dionex CR-TC Continuously Regenerated Trap Column, and suppressed electrolytically before detection without the need to prepare regenerants.

Reagent-Free Capillary IC System Minimizes Variability

Learn how this reagent-free capability produces consistent ion chromatographic results day-to-day, lab-to-lab.


What systems have RFIC-EG capabilities?

  • RFIC-EG capabilities are integrated in the Dionex ICS-5000+ HPIC, ICS-4000 Capillary IC, and Integrion RFIC systems.
  • Other Dionex ICS systems can be configured for RFIC-EG by adding the Dionex RFC-30 Reagent-Free Controller.
  • Dionex Chromeleon Chromatography Data System (CDS) software is required to control RFIC-EG system operations. 

What are the advantages of RFIC-EG?

Most apparently, RFIC-EG saves time and labor. However, generating eluent electrolytically also makes IC simpler, more powerful, and more reliable. Compared to manual eluent preparation, RFIC-EG provides superior results by preventing baseline shift, increasing sensitivity, improving resolution, and ensuring consistent peak integration. It also makes your system more reliable.

  • Eliminates manual preparation of eluents or regenerants
    • Saves time
    • Eliminates errors and variability from manual eluent preparation
    • Reduces operator exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Improves analytical consistency and reproducibility, day-to-day, system-to-system, lab-to-lab
    • Always On, Always Ready
    • Eliminates start-up or equilibration time
    • Provides uniform, highly stable eluent concentrations
    • Generates highly reproducible results, with little variability in peak retention times or areas
  • Reduces the need for calibration
    • Verify system performance quickly just by running a check standard.
  • Enables gradient separation with an isocratic pump
  • Uses only 15mL water/day translates into 5.2L water/year
  • Reduces pump maintenance; pump is only exposed to only deionized (DI) water
  • Supports capillary-scale flow rates to reduce eluent and EGC consumption

How does RFIC-EG work?

Inside the Dionex EGC III KOH Eluent Generator cartridge

The Dionex EGC III KOH Eluent Generator Cartridge consists of a KOH generation chamber and a K+ electrolyte reservoir connected by a cation exchange connector. A high-pressure connector permits the passage of K+ ions from the K+ electrolyte reservoir into the electrolytic chamber.

RFIC-EG system schematic

RFIC-EG system schematic

With a Dionex EGC Cartridge installed, just add water to electrolytically produce high-purity hydroxide, carbonate, or methanesulfonic acid eluents for isocratic and gradient runs. Eluents are purified online using the Dionex CR-TC Continuously Regenerated Trap Columns. This line of trap columns removes contaminants, thereby eliminating trace ionic impurities, such as carbonate, from the eluent stream. The traps eliminate the need for off-line cleanup procedures. The Dionex CR-ATC and Dionex CR-CTC trap columns are for removing anionic and cationic contaminants, respectively. Eluents are suppressed electrolytically just prior to detection, thereby eliminating the need to prepare regenerants.

What eluent generator cartridges are available?

What Thermo Scientific Dionex EGC Eluent Generator Cartridges to Use
Instrument Anions Cations
  Gradient or Isocratic Hydroxide EG Isocratic Carbonate EG Isocratic Carbonate/ Biocarbonate EG Gradient or Isocratic MSA EG
Dionex Integrion RFIC Dionex EGC 500 KOH or EGC III KOH, NaOH+, LiOH+ Dionex EGC 500 K2CO3 Dionex EGC 500 K2CO3 + EPM 500 Dionex ECG 500 MSA or EGC III MSA Cartridge
Dionex ICS-5000+ Dionex EGC 500 KOH or EGC III KOH, NaOH+, LiOH+ Dionex EGC 500 K2CO3 Dionex EGC 500 K2CO3 + EPM 500 Dionex ECG 500 MSA or EGC III MSA Cartridge
Dionex ICS-4000 and Dionex ICS-5000+ Capillary Dionex EGC KOH (Capillary) Not available Not available Dionex EGC MSA (Capillary)
Dionex RFC-30 Dionex EGC III KOH Not available Not available Dionex EGC III MSA