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Control of Ice Chromatographic Retention Mechanism by Changing Temperature and Dopant Concentration

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 11:29 by Yuiko Tasaki, Tetsuo Okada
A liquid phase coexists with solid water ice in a typical binary system, such as NaCl–water, in the temperature range between the freezing point and the eutectic point (teu) of the system. In ice chromatography with salt-doped ice as the stationary phase, both solid and liquid phase can contribute to solute retention in different fashions; that is, the solid ice surface acts as an adsorbent, while a solute can be partitioned into the liquid phase. Thus, both adsorption and partition mechanisms can be utilized for ice chromatographic separation. An important feature in this approach is that the liquid phase volume can be varied by changing the temperature and the concentration of a salt incorporated into the ice stationary phase. Thus, we can control the relative contribution from the partition mechanism in the entire retention because the liquid phase volume can be estimated from the freezing depression curve. Separation selectivity can thereby be modified. The applicability of this concept has been confirmed for the solutes of different adsorption and partition abilities. The predicted retention based on thermodynamics basically agrees well with the corresponding experimental retention. However, one important inconsistency has been found. The calculation predicts a step-like discontinuity of the solute retention at teu because the phase diagram suggests that the liquid phase abruptly appears at teu when the temperature increases. In contrast, the corresponding experimental plots are continuous over the wider range including the subeutectic temperatures. This discrepancy is explained by the existence of the liquid phase below teu. A difference between predicted and measured retention factors allows the estimation of the volume of the subeutectic liquid phase.

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