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Free Chlorine (DPD)

DR 900 Analytical Procedure AP-34/900

Method: Colorimetric (DR 900)
Range: 0.02 to 2.00 ppm as Cl2
Testing Time: 5 minutes

Chlorine is such an effective biocide that most
cooling water microbio programs use chlorine
compounds to control their bacteria problems. The
success of these programs, however, is dependent
on maintaining the proper chlorine levels. This
usually requires accurate low level testing.
Chlorine can be present in water as free available
chlorine and as combined available chlorine. The
combination of free available and combined
available chlorine is total chlorine. Chlorine in
the sample, as hypochlorous acid and/or hypo- Nalco DR 900 Colorimeter
chlorite ion (free chlorine or free available
chlorine), immediately reacts with DPD (N,
N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) to form a red
color that is proportional to the chlorine concentra- REPLACEMENT PARTS AND REAGENTS
tion. To determine the concentration of combined Required Parts and Reagents
chlorine, run a total chlorine test and subtract the
results from the free chlorine test. Description Size Part No.
DPD-F Chlorine
Powder Pillows 10 mL (100/pkg) 460-S0460A.87
ORDERING INFORMATION Nalco DR 900 Colorimeter 400-P0900.88
Order all replacement parts and reagents by their Sample cells, 10 -20-25 mL w/cap 500-P2555.88
part numbers. To be sure this product is compatible
with your treatment program, contact your local Optional Parts and Reagents
Nalco representative. Items marked with an *
are included with the kit or set. To place your Description Size Part No.
order, please contact your local customer service N/1 H2SO4 1.7 oz/50 mL 460-S0243.71
department. N/1 H2SO4 34.8 oz/1 L 460-S0243.75
N/1 H2SO4 1.06 gal/4 L 460-S0243.77
Description Part No. INTERFERENCES
pH (3-color) Test Strips (0 -14 pH), The following may interfere when present in con-
100/box 500-P3204.88 centrations exceeding those listed below.
pH (3-color) Test Strips (5-10 pH),
100/box 500-P3207.88
1 mg/L = 1 ppm
Acidity Greater than 150 ppm CaCO3.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS May not develop full color or color
Refer to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for may fade instantly. Neutralize to
specific reagent personal safety and disposal pH 6-7 with 1 N sodium hydroxide.
information. Determine amount to be added on
separate sample aliquot, then add
the same amount to the sample
SUPPORT being tested. Correct for volume
If you have any questions regarding this procedure, addition.
please contact your Nalco representative. In North Alkalinity Greater than 250 ppm CaCO3. May
America you can also contact the Equipment Help not develop full color or color may
Desk at 630-305-CHEM. fade instantly. Neutralize to pH 6-7
with 1 N sulfuric acid. Determine
amount to be added on separate
SAMPLING sample aliquot, then add the same
Avoid plastic containers since these may have a amount to the sample being tested.
large chlorine demand. Pretreat glass sample con- Correct for volume addition.
tainers to remove any chlorine demand by soaking Bromine Interferes at all levels.
in a dilute bleach solution (1 mL commercial bleach Chlorine Dioxide Interferes at all levels.
to 1 liter of deionized water) for at least 1 hour.
Chloramines, organic May interfere.
Rinse thoroughly with deionized or distilled water.
If sample containers are rinsed thoroughly with Hardness No effect at less than 1,000 ppm
deionized or distilled water after use, only occa- as CaCO3
sional pre-treatment is necessary. Iodine Interferes at all levels.
Do not use the same sample containers for free and Manganese, Oxidized Interferes at all levels.
total chlorine. If trace iodide from the total chlorine (Mn4+, Mn7+) or
reagent is carried over into the free chlorine deter- Chromium, Oxidized
mination, monochloramine will interfere. It is best (Cr6+)
to use separate, dedicated sample containers for Monochloramine Causes a gradual drift to higher
free and total chlorine determinations. readings. When read within 1 min-
ute after reagent addition, 3 ppm
A common error in testing for chlorine is intro-
monoochloramine causes less than
duced when a representative sample is not ob-
a 0.1 ppm increase in the reading.
tained. If sampling from a tap, let the water flow
for at least 5 minutes to ensure a representative Ozone Interferes at all levels.
sample. Let the container overflow with the sample Peroxides May interfere.
several times, then cap the sample container so Extreme sample pH Adjust to pH 6-7.
there is not headspace (air) above the sample. If and highly buffered
sampling with a sample cell, rinse the cell several
times with the sample, then carefully fill to the
10-mL mark. Perform the analysis immediately.

Special Note: Samples must be analyzed immediately and cannot be preserved for later analysis.

Start Zero

1 2 3 4
Start Program Fill a sample cell with 10 mL Place the blank into the Press: ZERO
of sample (the blank). cell holder. Tightly cover
80 Chlorine F&T PP the sample cell with the The cursor will move to the
instrument cap. right, then the display will
0.00 mg/L CI2


5 6 7 8
Fill another cell with 10 mL of Add the contents of one Immediately place the Press: READ
sample. DPD-F Chlorine prepared sample into the
cell holder. Tightly cover The cursor will move to the
Reagent Powder Pillow right, then the result in mg/L
(460-S0460A.87) to the the sample cell with the
instrument cap. chlorine will be displayed.
sample cell (the prepared
sample). Cap the sample Notes: If the sample
cell and swirl vigorously to Note: Perform Step 8 temporarily turns yellow
dissolve the powder. within one minute of after reagent addition, or
reagent addition. the display flashes LIMIT,
Notes: A pink color will dilute a fresh sample and
develop if free chlorine is repeat the test. A slight
present. loss of chlorine may occur
because of the dilution.
Accuracy is not affected
Multiply the result by the
by undissolved powder.
appropriate dilution factor.
This method can be used
to determine the free
bromine concentration in
water samples. Simply
multiply the test results
(as ppm Cl2) by 2.25
when performing bromine
tests. This calculation is
applicable only to systems
where no other oxidant is
present (i.e., Cl2 is 0).
Nalco, an Ecolab Company
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