I used an ion chromatography system (Dionex IC-2000) to determine the inorganic ions and acid from the samples collected in the atmosphere.

For measuring $\ce{SO4^2-, NO3, Cl-}$, and low molecular acid together, I used a gradient elution method to divide them and quantify their amount.

However, I found that an artifactual band always overlapped with malonic acid shown like this:

enter image description here

This figure was captured in the situation of the single standard of malonic acid.

I want to divide the overlapped peaks efficiently, and have not found any solutions?

Any useful suggestions or tips would be highly appreciated.

My gradient dissolution method

0.000   Autozero
        Concentration =     1.50 [mM]
        Curve =     5
        Wait    CycleTimeState
        Concentration =     1.50 [mM]
        Curve =     5

7.000   Concentration =     1.50 [mM]
        Curve =     5

8.000   Concentration =     3.00 [mM]
        Curve =     5

59.000  Concentration =     3.00 [mM]
        Curve =     5

59.500  Concentration =     1.50 [mM]
        Curve =     5

60.000  ECD_1.AcqOff
        Concentration =     1.50 [mM]
        Curve =     5
  • $\begingroup$ Never did ion chromatography. But it immediately occurs to me that malonic acid is a dicarboxylic acid. Could it be two different species of malonic acid? What is the pH of the eluent? $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 6 '18 at 15:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ See this paper Determination of Anions and Carboxylic Acids in Urban Fine Particles $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 6 '18 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW. Thanks for your reply. But one peak occurred even in the situation of clean water. So, I assumed it was $CO_3^{2-}$. The eluent we used is $KOH$ $\endgroup$ – Han Zhengzu Jul 7 '18 at 0:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not quite sure what you want but if you want to analyse them as two peaks just to obtain their areas then there are standard methods with which to do this. The simplest is to assume peak shapes, say gaussian/Voight etc and add them in proportion via least squares until you fit your data. $\endgroup$ – porphyrin Jul 7 '18 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @porphyrin. Thanks for your reply. One of the peaks was an impurity introduced to the system, and the other one was malonic acid for detection. $\endgroup$ – Han Zhengzu Jul 9 '18 at 0:53

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