bromate analysis of drinking waterOne of the commitments at our company has been to enhance the quality of our global water resources by providing innovative solutions for the testing for harmful chemicals in water. As a result, our analytical instruments are used by government agencies and industry globally to test environmental waters for a wide range of regulated and emerging inorganic elements and organic compounds.

I was recently reviewing some of our solutions and was impressed by the expanse and breadth of the applications and thought I would share some of them with our blog readers in a series of posts on water analysis.

This first post discusses the analysis of bromate which is generated by the oxidation of bromide during water disinfection by ozonation. Bromate has been of concern as it is a potential carcinogen and both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. EPA list bromate as a potential carcinogen at the low-µg/L level. In Europe, the Council Directive 98/83/EC (DWD) on the quality of water intended for human consumption includes bromate as one of the chemical parameters with a maximum allowed limit of 10 μg/L.

Last year, a new ISO standard for bromate analysis by ion chromatography (IC) was released. The standard titled, Water Quality—Determination of Dissolved Bromate—Method Using Ion Chromatography (IC) and Postcolumn Reaction (PCR) (ISO 11206:2011(E)) improved limits of detection and simplifies the lab work as compared to ISO 15061:2001.

Application Note 171 titled, Determination of Disinfection Byproduct Anions and Bromide in Drinking Water Using a Reagent-Free Ion Chromatography System, (downloadable PDF) discusses how the use of postcolumn addition and UV detection with the Thermo Scientific Dionex AS19 column allowed quantification of bromate from 0.5–15 μg/L without compromising the suppressed conductivity detection of chlorite, bromate, chlorate, and bromide.

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A more updated and specific method is described in Application Note 187, Determination of Sub-μg/L Bromate in Municipal and Natural Mineral Waters Using Preconcentration with Two-Dimensional Ion Chromatography and Suppressed Conductivity Detection (downloadable PDF).

Also, if you are interested in the pros and cons of suppression in cation-exchange chromatography, here is an excellent article titled, Conductivity Detection in Cation Chromatography–Pros and Cons of Suppression by Dr. Joachim Weiss, Technical Director.

By the way, the Dionex IonPac AS19 hydroxide-selective anion-exchange column, mentioned above, has been specifically designed for the trace analysis of trace bromate in drinking water and it meets the performance requirements of US EPA Methods 300.0 and 300.1.

Next post on analysis of bromate in bottled water! Do let us know which standards or chemicals you are testing for in the comments section below.