Gel Separation Technique for Trace Metal Analysis
Polymer gels have been investigated as a separation medium for trace metal analysis in water. Polymerization is accomplished in situ, in a stainless steel column, and the polymer is then derivatized to have selective binding sites for the target metal ions. This column is used in a chromatographic type separation, in which the sample is loaded onto the column and eluted with an appropriate mobile phase. Detection is accomplished by UV-Vis spectroscopy or conductivity. Back pressures are very high unless the gel is sufficiently porous, in which case it also has to be stabilized in the column with support scaffolding. Methods of preparing the gel and of addressing the high backpressures will be presented.