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University, Company Share Ion Detection Technology Patent

Purnendu Dasgupta (University of Texas at Arlington)

Purnendu Dasgupta (University of Texas at Arlington)

University of Texas at Arlington and Dionex Corporation in Sunnyvale, California recently received a patent for a new process that detects the charge of ions in a solution, and can enable more sensitive testing for compounds in water, food, and chemicals. Patent 8,293,099 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was awarded in late October to Arlington chemistry professor Purnendu (Sandy) Dasgupta and researcher Bingcheng Yang, and Dionex technical director Kannan Srinivasan.

The ingredients of organic and inorganic compounds carry charged ions at differing levels. Detecting and measuring these variations in charges is the basis for testing the presence and concentrations of substances for quality assurance and environmental compliance in a number of process industries. “For the first time, we can now measure that charge in a solution,” says Dasgupta. “It gives you new information that couldn’t be accessed before.”

The new technology uses a membrane-based separation or desalting techniques that detect ions in proportion to their charge and concentration. The techniques, says Dasgupta, make it possible to apply a single standard to determine known and unknown compounds, which reduces the need for frequent recalibration and results in greater efficiency.

Dionex introduced the technology last March at an industry trade show as the Dionex QD charge detector for ion chromatography. At its unveiling, Dionex said the device provides enhanced sensitivity for organic acids, amines (derivatives of ammonia), and silicate compounds not easily detected with conventional conductivity detection. The company says the device is designed for the environmental testing, food and beverage, and commercial chemical markets.

Dionex is a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. The new patent, says the university, is Dasgupta’s 23rd.

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