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Consultants in Damage Assessment & Business Recovery

Ion Chromatography

DF&A use ion chromatography to establish the unique chemical fingerprint of a water or material sample. This is done to understand the precise nature and quantities of chemicals and elements present, forming the foundation of any exercise into the levels of contamination present on a material surface, or the source of a water sample.

Ion chromatography works by essentially separating mixtures of chemicals. A sample is first dissolved in liquid, and then separated on a solid material, which in this process is the column within the ion chromatograph. Different chemicals travel up the column at different speeds, causing their separation. By a process of anion and cation exchange, the water-soluble molecules bind to the column in distinct phases due to electrostatic interaction. By measuring and timing these interactions, we are able to build a unique picture of the chemicals present and their quantities.

DF&A use ion chromatography to:

  • Determine the source of a water sample, whether it is:
    – Mains water
    – Ground water
    – Foul water
    – Utility based (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine)
  • Determine the concentration of post-fire contamination, both corrosive and non-corrosive:
    – Chlorides
    – Bromides
    – Fluorides
  • Carry out rising damp analysis for presence of chlorides, nitrates and other ions
  • Compare affected and unaffected areas to establish incident vs non-incident related damage

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