EPA Method 9060A

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EPA Method 9060A:
Total Organic Carbon in water and wastes by Carbonaceous Analyzer. Official Name: Method 9060A: Total Organic Carbon

Organic carbon is measured using a carbonaceous analyzer. This instrument converts the organic carbon in a sample to carbon dioxide (CO2) by either catalytic combustion or wet chemical oxidation. The CO2 formed is then either measured directly by an infrared detector or converted to methane (CH4) and measured by a flame ionization detector. The amount of CO2 or CH4 in a sample is directly proportional to the concentration of carbonaceous material in the sample.

This method is used to determine the concentration of organic carbon in ground water, surface and saline waters, and domestic and industrial wastes. Some restrictions are noted.

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

Carbonate and bicarbonate carbon represent an interference under the terms of this test and must be removed or accounted for in the final calculation. Removal of carbonate and bicarbonate by acidification and purging with nitrogen, or other inert gas, can result in the loss of volatile organic substances.

QC Requirements:
Employ a minimum of one blank per sample batch to determine if contamination or any memory effects are occurring. Verify calibration with an independently prepared check standard every 15 samples. Run one spike duplicate sample for every 10 samples. A duplicate sample is a sample brought through the whole sample preparation and analytical process.

Maximum Holding Time:
28 days



Above 1 mg/L

Sample Prep:
Not Applicable

Precision and accuracy data from EPA Method 415.1 per documentation of this method.


Revision Number:
November 2004, Revision 1.