Iron determination in drinking water – Wide linear range with a low detection limit using the Bi drop electrode and the triethanolamine method

The presence of iron in drinking water can lead to an unpleasant taste, stains, or even growth of «iron bacteria» that can clog plumbing and cause an offensive odor. Over a longer period, the formation of insoluble iron deposits is problematic in many industrial and agricultural applications. To avoid these problems, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) for water treatment and processing plants as 0.3 mg/L Fe in drinking water.

The voltammetric determination of the iron triethanolamine complex on the non-toxic Bi drop electrode allows both the detection at very low levels (limit of detection of 0.005 mg/L) and measurements in a wide range of concentrations up to 0.5 mg/L.