Ion chromatography was first introduced in 1975. Since then, it has been applied in most areas of the analytical
chemistry. It is an effective technique used to analyze various inorganic and organic ions present in samples with different
matrices. Importantly, ion chromatography has almost completely replaced the classical methods of ion determination. Its
main advantages include: short analysis time; analysis of small volume samples; high sensitivity and selectivity; simultaneous
separation and determination of different ions or ions of the same element at different oxidation states. As a result,
it is routinely used to investigate ionic compounds in water, air and soil samples. The most important objectives of the ion
chromatography improvement are to develop new stationary phases and enhance the peak capacity with complex eluent
profiles. It is also essential to devise new methods of sample preparation and implementation of the hyphenated methods.
In order to establish lower permissible limits for more and more ionic contaminants, researchers will need methods that
are more accurate. For that reason, ion chromatography will continue to develop and become an even more valuable tool
in the future. The following paper briefly describes the history, principles, development and applications of ion chromatography.
Ion chromatography, history and development, columns, eluents, detectors, anions, cations, water, wastewater,
sample matrix, sample preparation, ion chromatography standards, capillary electrophoresis, bromate, metals, metalloids, species
Institute of Environmental Engineering of Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland, Sklodowska- Curie Street 34, 41-819 Zabrze.