Market Profile: Ion Chromatography

January 1, 2018
Glenn Cudiamat
LCGC North America
Volume 36, Issue 1
Page Number: 12

Ion chromatography (IC) is a form of liquid chromatography that is able to measure the concentrations (in parts per billion) of anions such as chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and sulfate, and cations such as ammonium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.

Ion chromatography (IC) is a form of liquid chromatography that is able to measure the concentrations (in parts per billion) of anions such as chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and sulfate, and cations such as ammonium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. IC instruments are similar to other liquid chromatography systems, containing the basic components including a pump, column, and detector.

IC systems are somewhat more specialized instruments that are designed to bear the corrosive mobile phases of typical applications. In addition, IC instruments will generally use ion suppression technology to reduce the background of the eluent and increase the sensitivity of the sample ion for the conductivity detector. Some common applications of IC include the analysis of drinking water for pollution and other constituents, determination of sugar and salt content in foods, and analyze pharmaceuticals for purity, counter ions, and excipients.

The market for IC instruments can be broadly characterized into three categories. Advanced IC systems are the most robust and flexible instruments that will deliver the highest performance used typically for research applications or methods development. Standard IC instruments are designed for routine applications, while basic IC systems are simple, integrated units used for somewhat less demanding analyses.

The IC market is mature, relying heavily on instrument replacement activity and upgrades. Users are gravitating to new systems that boast ease-of-use or can deliver increased productivity. Intuitive software capabilities and touchscreen displays have increased in popularity. In addition, capabilities like in-line sample prep and automation have become wise investments to maximize the overall productivity of IC instruments.

Asia Pacific and ROW are expected to be the fastest growing market for IC instruments. The regions combined for about $100 million in 2017 and is fueled by environmental and food applications. Additionally, the positive momentum from the second half of 2017 from industrial markets including chemical and petrochemicals markets, power generation, and electronics will provide a boost in the IC market for 2018. Thermo Fisher Scientific and Metrohm are the leading IC vendors. However, many users are also employing third-party ion suppressors and regeneration systems with HPLC instruments from companies such as Hitachi and Shimadzu.

 

Market size and growth estimates were adopted from TDA’s Industry Data, a database of technology market profiles, and 2018 Instrument Industry Outlook report from independent market research firm Top-Down Analytics. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, general manager, at (888) 953-5655 or glenn.cudiamat@tdaresearch.com. Glenn is a market research expert who has been covering the analytical instrumentation industry for more than two decades.