Frequent Questions

Is Method 9045C (pH of solids) applicable to organic liquid waste matrices?

Section 1.1 of Method 9045D (PDF) (5 pp, 30K) states that the pH of non-aqueous liquids can be determined by the procedure. Water should be added to the non-aqueous liquid and mixed, because pH cannot be determined without the presence of water. The non-aqueous liquid should be separated from the water [aqueous phase] and the water analyzed. The water will contain compounds that leached out of the non-aqueous liquid waste so that the waste is not directly measured. Liquid organic wastes, such as oily wastes, may damage the pH electrode if the electrode is exposed directly to the oil. 

Note: This does not mean that you must use Method 9045C to evaluate non-aqueous liquids to see if they exhibit the RCRA characteristic of corrosivity (40 CFR 261.22).
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