EPA Method 352.1

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EPA Method 352.1:
Nitrate by Colorimetry. Official Name: Nitrogen, Nitrate (Colorimetric, Brucine)

This method is based upon the reaction of the nitrate ion with brucine sulfate in a concentrated sulfuric acid solution at 100oC. The color complex is measured colorimetrically.

This method determines nitrate in drinking, surface and saline waters; domestic and industrial wastes.

Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes (MCAWW) (EPA/600/4-79/020)

(A) Dissolved organic matter: Dissolved organic matter will cause an off color in sulfuric acid, and must be compensated with additions of all reagents except the brucine-sulfanilic acid reagent. This also applies to natural colors.Salinity: The effect of salinity is eliminated by addition of sodium chloride to blanks, standards, and samples.Oxidizing & Reducing Agents: All stong oxidizing and reducing agents interfere. Chlorine can be eliminated with sodium arsenite.Iron and Manganese: Ferrous and ferric iron and quadrivalent manganese give slight positive interference, but for concentrations less than 1 mg/L this interference is negligible.Uneven heating: Uneven heating of samples and standards during the reaction time will result in erratic results.

QC Requirements:

Maximum Holding Time:
48 hours (MCAWW, Table 1).



0.1 - 2 mg/L nitrate-N/L.

Precision and accuracy values were calculated using interlaboratory data from EPA-managed Water Pollution (WP) performance evaluation studies.


Revision Number:
Issued 1971