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The analytical determination of ionic disinfection by-products (DBPs) in many cases is challenged by the usual suspects: the sample matrix, analyte concentration and very often by unfavourable concentration ratios between analytes and other sample components. These challenges can be met by combining highly selective ion chromatography (IC) with specific and sensitive detection schemes. Since its introduction IC has quickly developed into an analytical technique suitable for the determination of trace components in very demanding sample matrices due to its combinability with different detection techniques. Because of the low reporting limits established for various DBPs in water (e.g. bromate, chlorate, haloacetic acids), or emerging needs to analyze low concentrations of DBPs (e.g. perchlorate) not only in water but also in food and beverages, it is this property that facilitates the simplified analysis of DBPs. This work summarizes different ion chromatographic approaches for the determination of anionic DBPs in accordance with ISO-, DIN and US-EPA methods, focussing on suppressed conductivity detection, post-column-derivatisation-techniques for UV-detection, two dimensional IC, and mass selective detection. The benefits of the different detection selectivity as well as the capabilities of each approach are discussed.

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