Acidic methanol methylation for HAA analysis: Limitations and possible solutions

Yuefeng Xie, Inni Rashid, Haojiang Joe Zhou, Leslie Gammie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Acidic methanol methylation is a common derivatization process for haloacetic acid (HAA) analysis. The Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg and EPCOR Water Services in Edmonton, Alta, conducted a study on acidic methanol methylation for HAAs. Using the current methylation conditions (US Environmental Protection Agency method 552.2), the authors observed incomplete methylation of HAAs, especially for trihaloacetic acids, which could significantly affect the accuracy of these HAA analytical results. The effects of methylation time, methylation temperature, volume of acidic methanol, and composition of acidic methanol on methylation efficiency were studied. This research suggests that acidic methanol methylation efficiency could be improved by increasing the volume of acidic methanol, methylation temperature, methylation time, or all three. The authors also investigated other common analytical problems associated with acidic methanol methylation. Additional studies are suggested to further optimize the acidic methanol methylation procedure for HAA analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalJournal / American Water Works Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Water Science and Technology


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