Selection Guide for Polymeric Resins

Sigma-Aldrich carries a vast array of resins, from leading manufacturers; such as, Dow Chemical, Rohm & Haas, Mitsubishi, and Lanxess. Our product line includes adsorbent, ion-exchange (anion / cation), mixed bed, chelating, nuclear grade, hydrophobic interaction (HIC) and gel filtration/size exclusion products. These resins are appropriate for research-scale separations, as well as, purification and isolation applications. To better fit unique application requirements, we also provide custom processing and packaging services of in-stock resins.

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Type Uses Manufacturer Brands
Adsorbent Comprising many different polymer formulations, organic adsorbents are stable at virtually all pH levels. This permits operation in conditions under which silica based materials are unsuitable. Uses include adsorption of small molecule organics from aqueous liquids and air, colorant removal, antibiotic recovery, surfactant removal, pharmaceutical purification, desalting, separation of large organic molecules (proteins), and separation of hydrophobic compounds and biomolecules from fermentation broths.

View Inorganic Adsorbents Products
Sigma-Aldrich Supelpak™, Supelite™, Combigel™
Dow/Rohm & Haas AMBERLITE® XAD®, AMBERCHROM®, Dowex® Optipore®
Ion Exchange
Anion / Cation 
Polymeric ionic exchange resins are used for protein purification, water softening and polishing, demineralization, chelation, and metal processing. They are employed in diverse applications; including pharmaceutical production, fine chemical processing and food & drug processing. Dow/Rohm & Haas AMBERLITE® IRA, AMBERLITE® IRN, AMBERLYST®, AMBERJET®, AMBERSEP®, DUOLITE®, Dowex®, Dowex® Marathon™, Dowex® Monosphere®
Lanxess Lewatit® MonoPlus, Lewatit® MP
Mitsubishi DIAION®
Mixed Bed Removal of all ions from aqueous solutions. Uses include primary water chemistry control in once-through systems, ultrapure water production, condensate polishing, in-process and column demineralization, and removal of ionic detergents (such as SDS) from protein samples. Sigma-Aldrich TMD-8
Dow/Rohm & Haas AMBERLITE®, Dowex® Monosphere®, Dowex® Marathon™, Dowex® Retardion
Lanxess Lewatit® SM-93
Chelating Resins Removal of specific ions from aqueous solutions. Used for metal recovery, wastewater treatment, and brine purification. Dow/Rohm & Haas AMBERLITE®, Dowex®, DUOLITE®
Lanxess Lewatit®, Lewatit® MonoPlus
Mitsubishi DIAION®
Nuclear As nuclear grade resins, a minimum of 99% of the available exchange sites are in the hydrogen form, or a minimum of 95% of the available exchange sites are in the hydroxide form. These resins are used for applications such as water treatment, RAD waste treatment, and decontamination. Dow/Rohm & Haas AMBERLITE®
Hydrophobic Interaction Employing more polar, less denaturing elution conditions, HIC is often used in combination with ion exchange or gel filtration for low denaturing protein purification. Cytiva Sepharose®
Gel Filtration/ Size Exclusion Separation of molecules based on size/shape. Commonly used for separating peptides, proteins, and other biomolecules such as lipids, steroids, and hormones. Cytiva Sephacryl®, Sephadex®, Superdex®

Selecting Ion-Exchange Resins

A resin that contains both an anion and a cation as bound ions is said to be ampholytic. Some ion exchange resins are prepared with chelating properties making them highly selective towards certain ions. In addition to their use in ion exchange, organic polymer supports, many of which are based on PS-DVB resins, are being used as polymeric catalysts in the expanding research area involving heterogenization of homogenous catalysts and as polymeric supports and reagents in combinatorial chemistry.

The internal structure of the resin beads, i.e., whether microporous (gel-type) or macroporous, is important in the selection of an ion exchanger. Macroporous resins, with their high effective surface area, facilitate the ion exchange process. They also allow access to the exchange sites for larger ions, can be used with almost any solvent irrespective of whether it is a good solvent for the uncrosslinked polymer, and take up the solvent with little or no change in volume. They make more rigid beads, facilitating ease of removal from the reaction system. Microporous resins, since they have no discrete pores, solute ions diffusely through the particle to interact with exchange sites. Despite diffusional limitations on reaction rates, these resins offer certain advantages: They are less fragile, requiring less care in handling; react faster in functionalization and applications reactions; and possess higher loading capacities.

In addition to being a function of bead morphology, the kinetics of the exchange depends on the particle size distribution of the resin. It is enhanced by a monodisperse resin; They permit faster elution and regeneration times with reduced back pressure.


Combigel, Supelite, Supelpak, TMD-8 – Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC; AMBERCHROM,AMBERJET, AMBERLITE, AMBERLYST, AMBERSEP, AMBERSORB, DUOLITE, XAD – Rohm & Haas Co.; DIAION, MCI-GEL, Sepabeads – Mitsubishi Chemical; Dowex, Marathon, Monosphere, Optipore, Retardion – Dow Chemical Co.; Sephacryl, Sephadex, Sepharose, Superdex – Cytiva Bio-sciences AB; Lewatit – LANXESS Deutschland GmbH; TOYOPEARL – Tosoh Corporation