Superb Performance IonQuest Ion Chromatography

The established Ion Chromatography systems from Cecil Instruments – IonQuest – are top performance modular systems.


Each system contains a conductivity detector.  The conductivity cell of the conductivity detector,  is enclosed with a heat exchanger in a precisely thermostatted enclosure. The temperature of the enclosure is controlled to better than ±0.01ºC. The working temperature may be set by the analyst to be between 25ºC and 50ºC and set with a default value of 35ºC during production testing.

IonQuest Modular Flexibility, Precision Temperature Control and a Conductivity Detector which may be used with third party systems.

The systems are easy to use by control panel operation, or by use of the sophisticated 21 CFR part 11 compliance Cecil PowerStream software, for instrument control, data acquisition, processing and reporting.


The modularity of each system enables its configuration to be modified with ease, for instance for use with electrochemical or UV/Visible detectors. Modules may readily be replaced, to reduce down-time, should the need arise.

Pulse Free Pump

Mobile phase pumping is provided by a dual piston, digitally controlled, pump . Electronic feedback control virtually eliminates pulsing without using mechanical damping.

Close coupled Column Heater/Chiller

The very precisely temperature controlled heater/chiller accommodates Anion and Cation columns and precolumns, as well as a background suppressor cartridge with its over pressure protection valve. Close coupling to the detector provides high stability, low noise and low dispersion.

Leakage Notification

A specially designed leak detection system is accommodated within the cell oven enclosure. The detection system may be used to shutdown the system if a leak is detected in the enclosure.

Conductivity Detector Features


Sensitivity for the measurement of anions is greatly improved by reducing the conductivity of the eluent post column. An optional Anion Membrane Suppressor - SAMS ™ - is available which is mounted in the column oven, in series with and after the analytical column. The suppressor may be used continuously and is regenerated by a Continuous Anion Regeneration System - CARS ™ - , which pumps the regeneration fluid through the post column suppressor cartridge. The suppressed solvent background conductivity leads to reduced drift and noise and therefore higher sensitivity for measurements is available.

Close coupling of the detector to the oven is important in eliminating the effects of ambient temperature fluctuation on results. The couplers can be seen on the side of the detector. The cell compartment thermostatted enclosure is shown in the image on the left, with the side cover removed for easy access.

Pump-Proven Performance

The Cecil CE 4100 dual piston solvent delivery pump is well established as very reliable, convenient to use, with a very high performance specification. The microprocessor controlled pump uses a precise stepping motor drive for the dual overlapping pistons which deliver solvent with very little pulsing.

Electronic feedback is used to control the pump speed during its cycle to reduce pulsing to a negligible level. No further mechanical pulse damping is required. Delivery of mobile phase in the range 0.2 – 2.5mL per minute, the usually used range, is well within the ability of the pump, which delivers in the range 0.001mL/min to 10mL/min. The wetted components of the pump are, sapphire, ruby and ceramic inserts.

The Total I C Concept

Convenient Column Heater/Chiller (Oven)

It is important that the separation columns should operate at a constant temperature, matching the temperature of the measuring cell. The column oven module is a very convenient front opening design accommodating two analytical columns and precolumns and also, when needed, a mobile phase background conductivity suppressor cartridge and its over-pressure protection valve.

The oven operates over the range from ambient temperature +5ºC to 70ºC. The default temperature is set at 35ºC.


The actual and set temperatures are displayed by a bright LCD display and may be controlled by the adjacent keypad, or set by the PowerStream software. Temperature stability is better than ±0.01ºC.


The flow tubes from the columns and suppressor cartridge enter and leave the oven enclosure through convenient self-sealing ports. The output port to the cell thermostatted enclosure lines up with the input connector of the enclosure, when the modular system is arranged as shown in the photographs of the system.


The very close coupling to the detector cell leaves only about 2 centimetres of tube between the oven and the cell. With the cell and oven operated at the same temperature, say 35ºC, drift or noise due to ambient fluctuations is eliminated.


A column switching valve may be fitted to the oven offering convenient operation.

A PowerStream software chromatogram of a sodium carbonate sample, screened for the presence of chloride and sulphate ions. Obtained using an IonQuest Ion Chromatography system.

AutoQuest Autosampler DataStream software Pumps PowerStream software Components Detectors Overview Selecting systems Ordering systems A Third Party Buyers' Guide User Citations Specifications

Consequently, reliable, modular, versatile, effortless and sensitive IonQuest Ion Chromatography, with autosampler automation options, has numerous laboratory applications.  Just a few instances include:-









One single system will accommodate current and future requirements.  There are no limits on the choice of eluents and columns.


Customisation of IonQuest systems will allow for pre and/or post column derivatisation, microplate autosampling, high throughput analyses and the use of other detectors such as UV/Visible and electrochemical.


Installation, operation and maintenance are easy.


The extremely low drift and ultra low noise conductivity detector, may be purchased separately, for use with third party chromatography systems.

Chemically Suppressed Solvent Background