EPA Method 8033

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EPA Method 8033:
Acetonitrile by Gas Chromatography with Nitrogen-Phosphorus Detection

Water samples are injected into a GC/NPD through cool on-column direct aqueous injection. Acetonitrile concentration is quantitated using external calibration.

This method determines the concentration of acetonitrile in aqueous matrices using gas chromatography (GC) with nitrogen-phosphorus detection (NPD).

SW-846 Online: Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods

(A) Chromatographic interferents: Water becomes an interferent at column temperatures greater than 60oC by coeluting with acetonitrile. This problem is solved by operating the column at 35oC, as well as, heating the column to 120oC for one hour each day.(B) Matrix interferences: Chromium forms a complex with acetonitrile, therefore glassware containing traces of chromium should not be used.(C) Method interferences: Contaminants in reagents, glassware, and other sample processing hardware may lead to elevated baselines and/or other interferences in the gas chromatograms. Routine analysis of reagent blanks should be performed as a check for method interferences.

QC Requirements:
Refer to Chapter One and Methods 8000, 3500, and 5000 for specific QC procedures. Procedures include: validation of sample preparation, introduction, and analysis, initial demonstration of capability, calibration verification, evaluation of retention times, analysis of method blanks, matrix spikes, duplicates, and laboratory control samples.

Maximum Holding Time:
See SW-846 Chapter Four for information.



1.7 - 5000 ug/L

Sample Prep:

Using laboratory produced standards containing 0.031 ng/uL and 0.33 ng/uL of acetonitrile in water using a 1.0 uL injection volume, the relative standard deviations were 2.0% and 1.4%, respectively. Analysis of an unknown QC sample showed that calibration with external standards was accurate within +/- 4% of the true value.


Revision Number:
Revision 0, December 1996