Separation Technologies for Water Analysis

July 21, 2011

E-Separation Solutions

E-Separation Solutions-07-21-2011, Volume 0, Issue 0

Water monitoring and analysis is a huge and diverse market that involves a wide range of instrument technologies in varying configurations.

Water monitoring and analysis is a huge and diverse market that involves a wide range of instrument technologies in varying configurations. Regulatory requirements continue to grow and evolve, helping to drive this market. Everything from wastewater to drinking water to pure industrial water to ultrapure process water requires some form of monitoring or analysis.

2010 Water Analysis Instrumentation Demand by Technology

Among the numerous instrumentation and product categories used for water monitoring and analysis, the separations category accounts for the largest share. Separation instruments include the many forms of chromatography such as gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ion chromatography, and mass spectrometry (MS) techniques such as LC–MS and GC–MS.

Although thin-layer chromatography (TLC) can be fully automated, it is commonly a manual technique. Consequently, aftermarket supplies and consumables dominate the market with nearly three-fourths of the share. TLC faces competition from HPLC and, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, flash chromatography.

Although water analysis accounts for only a small percentage of the overall chromatography and MS sectors, the power of separation techniques makes them invaluable to water analysis applications, particularly when researching potentially new contaminants and trace level analysis is required. MS, in particular, provides a much higher degree of sensitivity than any other commonly used water analysis technique.

The increasing concern about pharmaceuticals in drinking water, which could pose a threat to human health at very low levels, is one such driver for the LC–MS technology. GC and GC–MS are useful for detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in water, and ion chromatography is an inherently good method for water analysis because it is one of few analytical methods that are capable of identifying multiple anions in a single analysis.

The foregoing data were extracted and adapted from SDiصs Market Analysis and Perspective report entitled Water Analysis Instrumentation: Essential Instruments for the Essential Element. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, VP of Research Services, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, e-mail:cudiamat@strategic-directions.com

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