Standard Active Last Updated: Dec 27, 2016 Track Document
ASTM D5542-16

Standard Test Methods for Trace Anions in High Purity Water by Ion Chromatography

Standard Test Methods for Trace Anions in High Purity Water by Ion Chromatography D5542-16 ASTM|D5542-16|en-US Standard Test Methods for Trace Anions in High Purity Water by Ion Chromatography Standard new BOS Vol. 11.01 Committee D19
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Significance and Use

4.1 The anions fluoride, chloride, and sulfate have been identified as important contributors to corrosion of high pressure boilers, electric power turbines and their associated heat exchangers. Many electric power utilities attempt to reduce these contaminants in their boiler feed water to less than 1 μg/L.

4.2 In the semiconductor manufacturing process these ions, among others, have been identified as a cause of low product yield and, thus, must be monitored and controlled to levels similar to those required by the electric power industry.

4.3 Low molecular weight organic acids, such as acetate and formate, have been found in many steam generator feed waters and condensates. They are believed to come from the high temperature breakdown of organic matter found in boiler make up water. It is felt that these organic acids promote corrosion by lowering the pH of boiler waters and may even be corrosive themselves.

4.4 Such low molecular weight organics may also be produced when ultraviolet light is used to produce bacteria-free water for semiconductor processing. Such polar organic contaminants are suspected of causing reduced semiconductor yields.

4.5 Phosphates are commonly added to drum boilers in the low mg/L level to precipitate calcium and magnesium and thereby prevent scale formation. Ion chromatography can be used to monitor the concentration of such chemicals in boiler water, as well as detect unwanted carry-over into the steam.


1.1 These test methods cover the determination of trace (μg/L) levels of fluoride, acetate, formate, chloride, phosphate, and sulfate in high purity water using ion chromatography in combination with sample preconcentration. Other anions, such as bromide, nitrite, nitrate, sulfite, and iodide can be determined by this method. However, since they are rarely present in significant concentrations in high purity water, they are not included in this test method. Two test methods are presented and their ranges of application, as determined by a collaborative study, are as follows:


Range Tested
(μg/L Added)

Limit of DetectionA
(Single Operator)


Test Method A:
















Test Method B:
















(A) Limit of detection is lowest measurable concentration not reportable as zero at 99 % level of confidence as per EPRI study as cited in Sections 16 and 24.
(B) Insufficient data to calculate limit of detection.

1.2 It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of these test methods for waters of untested matrices.

1.3 The common practical range of Test Method A is as follows: chloride, 1 to 100 μg/L, phosphate, 3 to 100 μg/L, and sulfate, 2 to 100 μg/L.

1.4 The common practical range of Test Method B is as follows: fluoride, 1 to 100 μg/L, acetate, 10 to 200 μg/L, and formate, 5 to 200 μg/L.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.6 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.03
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.1520/D5542-16
ICS Code: 71.040.30