The haloacetic acid (HAA) analysis methods approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency involve extraction and derivatization of HAAs (typically to their methyl ester form) and analysis by gas chromatography (GC) with electron capture detection (ECD). Concerns associated with these methods include the time and effort of the derivatization process, use of potentially hazardous chemicals or conditions during methylation, poor recoveries because of low extraction efficiencies for some HAAs or matrix effects from sulfate, and loss of tribromoacetic acid because of decarboxylation. The HAA analysis method introduced here uses solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by capillary electrophoresis (CE) analysis. The method is accurate, reproducible, sensitive, relatively safe, and easy to perform, and avoids the use of large amounts of solvent for liquid-liquid extraction and the potential hazards and hassles of derivatization. The cost of analyzing HAAs using this method should be lower than the currently approved methods, and utilities with a GC/ECD can perform the analysis in-house.
Additional publication details
Development of an SPE/CE method for analyzing HAAs