EPA Method 556

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EPA Method 556:
Determination of Carbonyl Compounds in Drinking Water by Pentafluorobenzylhydroxylamine Derivatization and Capillary Gas Chromatography

A 20-mL sample is adjusted to slight acid pH, and the compounds of interest are derivatized by reacting them with PFBHA reagent for 2 hours with heat. The oxime derivatives are extracted from the sample using hexane. The extract is processed through an acid wash step. The concentrations of oxime derivatives (converted from compounds of interest) are measured using a gas chromatography (GC) system equipped with an electron capture detector (ECD).

This method determines certain carbonyl compounds in finished drinking water and raw source water.

Methods for the Determination of Organic and Inorganic Compounds in Drinking Water, Volume 1 (EPA/815-R-00-014)

(A) Reagent water contamination: To reduce aldehyde contamination, expose water to UV light or distill with permanganate.(B) Equipment contamination: Use non-Latex gloves, minimize exposure of reagent and sample to air (formaldehyde source), and use polypropylene (not phenolic resin) caps.

QC Requirements:
Initial demonstration of laboratory capability (which includes calculation of the MDL), analysis of laboratory reagent blanks, laboratory fortified blanks, field reagent blanks, laboratory fortified sample matrices, and QC samples.

Maximum Holding Time:
7 days; 14 days after extraction.



2-40 ug/L

Precision and accuracy values were calculated using data from eight replicate analyses of fortified reagent water. Analyses were conducted over two days using a DB-5ms chromatographic column.

NOTE: MDLs represent performance on the primary column. Secondary columns used in validation of the method allowed for much lower MDLs for some analytes. Consult the method for more information.MD

Revision Number:
Revision 1.0, June 1998