Volume 1, Number 11
A Gossman Consulting, Inc. Publication
November 1995

The "Best" Referenced Methods for Organic Hazardous Waste Analysis

David Gossman

As chemists, GCI personnel have set up and operated a significant number of laboratories designed to thoroughly analyze organic hazardous waste prior to thermal treatment. Earlier this year, GCI published "Commercial Thermal Treatment Facility Waste Analysis Plans." This publication is a synopsis of the waste analysis plans used throughout the commercial thermal treatment industry. Based in this experience, the following referenced methods should be considered the currently available "best" methods for using as references in organic hazardous waste analysis.

Parameters Method Title
Heat Content, Ash, Total Halogens/Sulfur Prep. ASTM D5468-93 Standard Test Method for Gross Calorific & Ash Value of Waste Materials
Chlorine, Other Halogens and Sulfur SW846 9056 Anion Chromatography Method
PCBs ASTM D3304-77 

ASTM D4059-91

Standard Method for Analysis of Environmental Materials for Polychlorinated Biphenyls 

Standard Test Method for Analysis of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Insulating Liquids by Gas Chromatography

pH ASTM D4980-89 

SW-846 9045

Standard Test Method for Screening of pH in Waste 

Soil pH

Digestion/Dissolution for Metals ASTM D5513-93 

ASTM E926-88 (Method A)

Standard Practice for the Microwave Digestion of Industrial Furnace Feedstreams for Trace Element Analysis 

Standard Test Methods of Preparing Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) Samples for Analyses of Metals

Metals* SW-846 6010A Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy
Density/Specific Gravity ASTM D5057-90 Standard Test Method for Screening Apparent Specific Gravity and Bulk Density of Waste
Viscosity ASTM D2196-86 

ASTM D4979-89

Standard Test Methods for Rheological Properties of Non-Newtonian Materials by Rotational (Brookfield) Viscometer 

Standard Test Method for Physical Description Screening Analysis in Waste

Total Water ASTM D4017-90 

ASTM E203-75

Standard Test Method for Water in Paints and Paint Materials by Karl Fischer Method 

Standard Test Method for Water Using Karl Fischer Reagent

Cyanide ASTM D5049-90 Standard Test Method for the Screening of Cyanides in Waste
Sulfide ASTM D4978-89 Standard Test Method for the Screening of Sulfides in Waste
Volatile/Semivolatile Organics None

* ASTM Committee D34 is currently developing a method for utilizing energy dispensive XRF. This technique is already being utilized by GCI's international clients. It is much faster than traditional digestion/AA/ICAP techniques.

GCI always recommends that facilities handling liquid organic hazardous wastes perform thorough initial testing as well as shipment receipt screening for a wide variety of toxic volatile and semivolatile compounds. No standardized method for easily accomplishing this currently exists. Nevertheless, GCI has spent years developing this technology and has implemented it at numerous facilities both in the United States and internationally. An outline of the method was presented at the 1992 A&WMA BIF Specialty Conference. The paper was titled, "A Method for the Rapid Semi-Quantitative Identification of Hazardous Organic Constituents in Liquid Organic Hazardous Waste Streams." It is available from GCI upon request.