Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM D2036-06

Standard Test Methods for Cyanides in Water

Significance and Use

Cyanide is highly toxic. Regulations have been established to require the monitoring of cyanide in industrial and domestic wastes and in surface waters (Appendix X1).

Test Method D is applicable for natural water and clean metal finishing or heat treatment effluents. It may be used for process control in wastewater treatment facilities providing its applicability has been validated by Test Method B or C.

The spot test outlined in Annex A1 can be used to detect cyanide and thiocyanate in water or wastewater, and to approximate its concentration.


1.1 These test methods cover the determination of cyanides in water. The following test methods are included:

1.2 Cyanogen halides may be determined separately. Cyanogen chloride is the most common of the cyanogen halide complexes as it is a reaction product and is usually present when chlorinating cyanide-containing industrial waste water. For the presence or absence of CNCl, the spot test method given in can be used.

1.3 These test methods do not distinguish between cyanide ions and metallocyanide compounds and complexes. Furthermore, they do not detect the cyanates. Note 1—The cyanate complexes are decomposed when the sample is acidified in the distillation procedure.

1.4 The cyanide in cyanocomplexes of gold, platinum, cobalt and some other transition metals is not completely recovered by these test methods.

1.5 Cyanide from only a few organic cyanides are recovered, and those only to a minor extent.

1.6 Part or all of these test methods have been used successfully with reagent water and various waste waters. It is the user's responsibility to assure the validity of the test method for the water matrix being tested.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in sections 5.1, 8.8, 8.18, 9, 11.2, and 16.1.9.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.06
Pages: 20
DOI: 10.1520/D2036-06
ICS Code: 13.060.50