Definition - What does Elution mean?

Elution is the stripping of ions from an ion exchange material by other ions, either because of greater affinity or because of much higher concentration. Predicting and controlling the order of elution is a key aspect of column chromatographic methods. It is the process of removing materials that are absorbed with a solvent.

Elution can be used for enrichment of ions as well as metal leaching. Elution can cause both inhibition and augmentation of corrosion, depending on surrounding environments.

Corrosionpedia explains Elution

Elution is the method of extracting one material from another by washing with a solvent, as in washing of loaded ion-exchange resins to remove captured ions in analytical and organic chemistry.

For example, an analyte is generally adsorbed or bound to an adsorbent in a liquid chromatography column. Based on an adsorbent's composition, it can have varying affinities to hold onto other molecules, forming a thin film on its surface. Elution then is the process of removing analytes from the adsorbent by running a solvent, called an eluent, past the adsorbent/analyte complex. As the solvent molecules elute, or travel down through the chromatography column, they can either pass by the adsorbent/analyte complex or they can displace the analyte by binding to the adsorbent in its place. After the solvent molecules displace the analyte, the analyte can be carried out of the column for analysis.

The elution time of a solute is the time between the start of the separation and the time at which the solute elutes. In the same way, the elution volume is the volume of eluent required to cause elution. Under standard conditions for a known mix of solutes in a certain technique, the elution volume may be enough information to identify solutes.

Elution causes localized corrosion in stainless steel at higher temperature. Since the elution speed of iron atoms is higher than at room temperature, higher temperature causes damage to stainless steels.

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