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A rapid, accurate, and sensitive spectrophotometric method for the quantitative determination of trace amounts of vanadium in water is based on the catalytic effect of vanadium on the rate of oxidation of gallic acid by persulfate in acid solution. Under given conditions of concentrations of reactants, temperature, and reaction time, the extent of oxidation of gallic acid is proportional to the concentration of vanadium present. Vanadium is determined by measuring the absorbance of the sample at 415 m?? and comparison with standard solutions treated in an identical manner. Concentrations in the range of from 0.1 to 8.0 ??g. per liter may be determined with a standard deviation of 0.2 or less. By reducing the reaction time, the method may be extended to cover the range from 1 to 100 ??g. with a standard deviation of 0.8 or less. Several substances interfere, including chloride above 100 p.p.m., and bromide and iodide in much lower concentrations. Interference from the halides is eliminated or minimized by the addition of mercuric nitrate solution. Most other substances do not interfere at the concentration levels at which they commonly occur in natural waters.