Standardization News

Ammonia Nitrogen Analysis

ASTM International’s water committee (D19) is developing a proposed standard that will help to accelerate the analysis of ammonia nitrogen in environmental samples. Ammonia nitrogen is a nutrient that can lead to oxygen-depleted and potentially toxic algae blooms that can kill fish. 

According to ASTM International member William Lipps, the proposed method (WK42422) will eliminate the need for a preliminary distillation, saving laboratories time and money.  

“The method described in the proposed standard uses safer reagents by replacing phenol with sodium salicylate,” says Lipps, general manager, government and regulatory business development, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. “This makes the method safer for analysts and reduces the laboratory’s waste stream and waste disposal costs.” 

Lipps says that the method of replacing ammonia distillation with gas diffusion and substituting phenol with salicylate is already approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at 40 CFR Part 136. However, there is currently no published standard that describes the reagents or the process. The proposed standard will unify the modifications in one place, allowing labs to reference an actual method. 

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Issue Month: 
January/February
Issue Year: 
2022
COMMITTEE: 
D19