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Determination of Total Cyanide in Municipal Wastewater and Drinking Water Using Ion-Exclusion Chromatography with Pulsed Amperometric Detection (ICE-PAD)

Cyanide is regulated as an environmental contaminant by the US EPA for drinking water, surface water, and wastewater due to these health concerns.

Total cyanide is defined by the US EPA as free cyanide ion and complex cyanides that are converted to hydrocyanic acid (HCN) during strong acid digestion. More recently, total cyanide also includes ferrocyanide and ferricyanide due to free cyanide formed by exposure to light.7 For drinking and surface waters, the US EPA has established a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 200 μg/L free cyanide determined by a total cyanide assay. To determine total cyanide, the sample is digested
with sulfuric acid to convert the cyanide to hydrogen cyanide gas, aspirated into a strong caustic solution, then assayed.

In this Application Note, the authors describe a method with PAD using a Pt disposable working electrode and a waveform optimized for determination of total cyanide in drinking and wastewater.
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