Find your balance – Price and performance in perfect harmony

All ion chromatography (IC) systems are capable of giving you numbers. At Thermo Fisher Scientific, our systems give you results; results that can inspire, confirm, refute, or prompt action. While no price can be put upon confidence in your results, there are always competing needs for your investment.

This is why we offer a range of instruments and technologies to fit your needs. You can purchase the instrument that fits your application perfectly, and select a technology that gives you peace of mind.

Eluent generation, eluent suppression, and sample preparation technologies may play a role in your decisions. To learn more about these options, click on the links below:

With so much choice, you may have questions! Check out the information below to understand some of the key aspects to consider, evaluate your options, and don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Eluent generation

Choose the consistency and labor savings you need

Since the advent of ion chromatography, eluent choice has been one of the key factors affecting the usability and performance of IC systems. Today, there is probably a standard eluent for your application, but you still have a lot of choices that affect usability. Read on to discover some of the considerations when choosing how to prepare your eluent or watch the educational video, below.

Manual Preparation
Operator prepares an eluent concentrate and then dilutes
Low upfront expense, but limited application choices
Manual Dilution
Operator dilutes an eluent concentrate purchased from vendor
Reduced operator input, but applications are restricted to those supported by available eluent concentrates
Automated Dilution *
System automatically dilutes eluent concentrate with water off-line 
Reduced operator input, but increased complexity in plumbing and poor performance when concentrations are changed
Automated Eluent Proportioning
Accurately timed valves are rapidly switched to allow combinations of source eluents
Broad application coverage, but costly and complex to maintain.
Eluent Generation
Purified eluent is created in-line and on-demand
Least operator input, but some application restrictions.
Dual Eluent Generation
Multiple purified eluents are created and combined in line and on demand
Least operator input, broad application coverage.
  • * Not offered on Thermo Scientific Dionex Ion Chromatography systems due to the availability of solutions with superior performance at the same or lower cost.
  • † Available only on Thermo Scientific Dionex Ion Chromatography systems


Choose the level of sensitivity, peace of mind, and labor savings that you need

Suppressors are necessary for most IC applications in order to reduce background conductivity and enhance analyte response. With modern suppressors, it is even possible to measure analyte concentrations in the ng/L range. (Download  Thermo Scientific Technical Note 72206 for details.)

Your choice of suppressor should be based on the requirements of your application, as well as your confidence and time to spend on maintenance of the suppressor and regenerant delivery system. For a comparison of suppressed vs. nonsuppressed conductivity detection, download  Thermo Scientific Application Note 157.

TechniqueConsiderationsOngoing Cost
Eluent and sample flow directly from the separator to the detector
Simplest setup, but very low sensitivity and highly restricted application conditions. Most methods do not allow unsuppressed conductivity$
Packed-Bed Chemically Regenerated Suppressor *
Large quantity of high capacity ion exchange resin, periodically regenerated offline
Increased sensitivity, but poor chromatography (due to dead volume) and high downtime. Highly restricted application conditions to minimize regeneration needs.$$
Auto-switching Suppressor *
Multiple packed-bed suppressor cartridges, switched to a different cartridge after every injection.
Reduced labor and downtime, but limited suppression capacity, no traceability, and requires regenerant preparation and delivery system$$
Continuously Regenerated Suppressor
Ion-selective membrane separating eluent and chemical regenerant chambers; continuous suppression as long as regenerant is flowing
“Infinite” capacity, but still requires regenerant preparation and delivery system$$
Electrolytically Regenerated Suppressor
Similar to the continuously regenerated suppressor, but creates regenerant online through electrolysis of water.
Reagent and labor-free, slightly lower sensitivity and some restrictions on solvents in eluent.$$$
Dynamically Regenerated Suppressor
Similar to the Electrolytically Regenerated Suppressor, but continuously adapts the creation of regenerant ions to the current conditions
Reagent and labor-free, always optimized for sensitivity, even under eluent concentration gradients. Some restrictions on solvents in the eluent.$$$
  • * Not offered on Thermo Scientific Dionex Ion Chromatography systems. Instead, we offer solutions with superior performance at the same or lower cost.
  • † Available only on Thermo Scientific Dionex Ion Chromatography systems

Sample Preparation: Particulate Removal

Choose the system protection, performance, and labor savings you need

Some ion chromatography sample matrices may carry high quantities of particulate matter, requiring some form of particulate removal to protect other components of the IC system. The particulate removal option you choose has implications for balancing performance, simplicity, and level of protection. Take a look at the common challenges and misconceptions about particulate removal and discover the solutions available to meet your application needs.

Vacuum Filtration
Filtration apparatus applies a vacuum to assist in drawing a sample through a filter
Very high labor requirements
Syringe Filters
Single-use, disposable filters that are attached directly to a luer-lock syringe after sample aspiration
No carryover, but high cost and labor requirements
Tangential-Flow Microfiltration
Continually passes a high volume of sample across a filter membrane with a negative pressure on the other side
Labor saving, but potential for carryover and requires large sample volume and additional dual-channel pump
Stopped-Flow Dialysis
Allows solutes to move down a concentration gradient across a semipermeable membrane into a receiving solution
Labor saving, but potential for carryover and requires additional two dual-channel pumps
Sample Vial Filter Caps
Directly inserted into vials and filter the sample during aspiration
Labor saving and no carryover, but single use
High-Pressure Inline Filters
Low-volume filters placed into the high-pressure flow path immediately after the injection valve
Labor saving, low maintenance, no sample loss, and no additional instrumentation required
Dual Inline Filters with Backflush
Two high-pressure inline filters installed on a valve to allow a backflush after each injection
Two high-pressure inline filters installed on a valve to allow a backflush after each injection

To learn more about the applications supported by our ion chromatography technologies, visit the AppsLab Library of Analytical Applications .

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