Use of ion chromatographic pulsed amperometric method (IC-PAD) for measuring aqueous sulfide in synthetic and real domestic wastewater

Yue Sun, Jill A.R. Soedarso, Jiamin Wang, Pieter Gremmen, Huub Rijnaarts, Wei Shan Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sulfide detection in domestic wastewater is widely demanded, as sulfide induces odour nuisance and wastewater assets corrosion. However, traditional sulfide detection methods are usually plagued by the limited detection range or interference from impurities. To address these constraints, this study improved the ion chromatographic pulsed amperometric method (IC-PAD) and tested its validity for use in domestic wastewater. Prior to sulfide detection, sulfide-containing sample collection usually requires the use of sulfide antioxidant buffers (SAOB) to minimize sulfide loss. Different sample matrixes require different SAOB recipes, which increases complexity and uncertainty when measuring different environmental samples. Therefore, this study also developed a more convenient and generic sample collection method without the addition of SAOB. The results indicated that the proposed SAOB-free sample collection method could minimize the sulfide loss during sample collection. The IC-PAD method showed a wide linear detection range up to 10 mg-S/L. The detection limit was 3 μg-S/L. Matrix effect studies showed that 1 g/L glucose, formate, acetate, methanol, ethanol, propionate, butyrate, lactate, or sulfate had no evident interference on sulfide measurement. However, 5 mM phosphate buffer led to interference, but reducing the KOH eluent concentration from 62 to 30 mM avoid this interference. Wolfe's vitamin mixture and Wolfe's modified mineral mixture could cause diminutive interference equivalent to 2.53 ± 1.32 μg-S/L sulfide. Moreover, the interference caused by chloride indicated that the IC-PAD method is more applicable for measuring sulfide in low-chloride wastewater. To this end, the IC-PAD method showed high accuracy and precision in the real domestic wastewater samples with chloride concentration of 68 mg/L. The recovery was higher than 97% and the relative standard deviation (RSD) was lower than 1.2%. This study demonstrated the potential use of IC-PAD method for measuring sulfide in real domestic wastewater and possible interference from the solution matrix to be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137442
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Domestic wastewater
  • Ion chromatographic pulsed amperometric method
  • Matrix effect
  • Sulfide
  • Sulfide-containing sample collection method


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