Analysis of Epichlorohydrin in Drinking Water Using the Lumin P & T Concentrator
Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is a versatile starting material in the production of drugs and polymers and is also used as an insect fumigant and solvent for organic synthesis reactions. ECH-based polymer pipes are widely employed in the production of drinking water. Due to its extreme reactivity and toxicity, many nations have begun imposing limits on the amount of ECH allowable in drinking water.
Drinking water analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) is normally performed by purge and trap concentration, using standard US EPA methods. Variations of these methods, with modifications to the matrix and method parameters, will be made to prepare the drinking water samples for analysis by Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS). Calibration data and method detection limits will also be presented.
Epichlorohydrin (ECH), or 1-chloro-2,3-epoxypropane, is a versatile starting material in the production of drugs, epoxy coating materials, glycerol, and polymers with high wet strength for the paper industry. Other major applications of ECH include use as an insect fumigant, solvent for synthetic resins, and starting material for the production of paints and varnishes. Also, ECH-based polymer pipes are widely employed in the production of drinking water as well as syntheses of cationic polyelectrolytes, which are used in surface water and wastewater clarification.1
Due to the presence of chlorine and an epoxy bridge, ECH (Figure 1) is a highly reactive molecule. ECH tends to hydrolyze in water at ambient temperature to form 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol or 3-chloro-1,2-propanediol), a carcinogen. The hydrolysis of ECH is accelerated in the presence of heat and acid.2