EPA Method 410.1

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EPA Method 410.1:
Chemical Oxygen Demand by Titrimetry. Official Name: Chemical Oxygen Demand (Titrimetric, Mid-Level)

Organic and oxidizable substances in the sample are oxidized by potassium dichromate in 50% sulfuric acid solution at reflux temperature. Silver sulfate is used as a catalyst and mercuric sulfate is added to remove chloride interference. The excess dichromate is titrated with standard ferrous ammonium sulfate using orthophenanthroline ferrous complex as an indicator.

This method determines chemical oxygen demand; the quantity of oxygen required to oxidize organic matter in a waste sample.

Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes (MCAWW) (EPA/600/4-79/020)

(A) Contamination: Trace organics from glassware or the atmosphere can cause gross positive error. Run blanks through glassware to eliminate trace organics.(B) Volatiles: Volatile organics may be lost when the temperature rises during the addition of sulfuric acid. To minimize loss, cool the sample flask during the addition of sulfuric acid.(C) Chlorides: Chlorides are quantitatively oxidized by dichromate and represent a positive interference. Mercuric sulfate is added to the digestion flask to complex chlorides and eliminate the interference.

QC Requirements:

Maximum Holding Time:
28 Days (MCAWW, Table 1).



50 mg/L or higher.

Sample Prep:

Precision and accuracy values were calculated using interlaboratory data from EPA-managed Water Pollution (WP) performance evaluation studies.


Revision Number:
Issued 1971; Editorial Revision 1978

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Examples:  8260

Examples:  Dioxin
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