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Sodium Hypochlorite Quality Testing
As a bleach producer, the cost of bleach production is an important market factor.
A proven way to cut the cost of bleach production is to improve bleach production
“efficiency”. With the escalating cost of raw materials, savings can be found by
controlling the caustic dilution, good end point control of excess caustic, and
reduced sodium chlorate formation.
To accurately assess the quality of bleach being produced, the bleach product
needs to be analyzed by qualified laboratory personnel who understand how to apply
the available chlorine analytical methods. Powell Fabrication recommends that bleach
producers use NovaChem Laboratories for their testing needs (see address below).
g/L Available Cl2
Wt% NaOH (excess caustic)
Wt% Na2CO3 Wt% Sodium Chloride
Optional Analyses I:
mg/L iron, copper, nickel
Optional Analysis II:
Note: Once the testing is complete, other units of measure of any result can be
supplied upon request. For example, Wt% NaOH (excess caustic) can be converted to
Taking a Sample
A representative sample for testing is essential for accurate results. Typically,
two 100 mL samples of the same bleach are required for testing purposes: a full-strength
sample (for the measurement of specific gravity and the metals) and a 1/10 diluted
sample (for the measurement of sodium hypochlorite and the various ion analyses).
By diluting the bleach, the less concentrated sodium hypochlorite solution will
not significantly decompose during shipping and storage. This results in more accurate
measurement with typically larger bleach strengths and lower chlorate ion concentrations.
A third sample can be taken if the filter test is required. The filter test is helpful
on the operations side of bleach distribution. Faster bleach filter times indicate
less filterable material in the bleach leading to reduced incidences of pump, instrumentation,
and piping systems failure. The minimum volume for a meaningful filter test analysis
is 1 liter of full-strength bleach.
Sample 1- 100 mL --- Full-Strength Bleach
Using proper safety procedures, fill a 100 mL sample bottle with bleach at full
strength. Chill the sample.
Sample 2 – 100 mL --- 1/10 Diluted Bleach
The dilution of full-strength bleach requires that proper safety procedures be followed.
With a pipette, take a 25 mL sample of the same full-strength bleach and dispense
it into a 250 mL volumetric flask. Fill to the 250 mL mark with distilled water.
Mix the diluted solution. When the solution is adequately mixed, fill a 100 mL sample
bottle. Chill the sample.
Sample 3 – 1 liter --- Full-Strength Bleach
Using proper safety procedures, fill a 1000 mL (optionally 2-500mL) sample bottle
with bleach at full strength. Chill the sample.
The samples should be stored in a chilled environment to be ready for shipment.
Uline or equal cold packs #S-18256 can then be frozen for use during shipment. The
shipment should be sent using a next day service (if available) such as UPS or Federal
Express. DHL is also available for international service.
The size of the shipment and shipping method will determine the type of shipping
container, sample bottles and vermiculite used. It is strongly suggested to utilize
a knowledgeable shipping container company such as LabelMaster to assist in supply
of the correct shipping products. Please refer to the UPS, FedEx or DHL guides for
shipping ground and air hazardous materials. These guides will assist in correct
labeling of the shipment and shipper’s responsibilities.
Each sample container should include Chain-of-Custody documentation including the
sample designation, company, address, contact person, phone, e-mail address, and
if available the in-house analysis results for the wt% sodium hypochlorite and excess
Due to the cost of sampling, shipping and handling, it may be desirable to prepare
multiple samples for testing. If two or more representative samples are prepared,
please send two 100 mL samples (full-strength and diluted) for each additional sample.
Send the samples to:
NovaChem Laboratories, Inc.
Attn: Dr. Bernie Bubnis
5172 College Corner Pike
Oxford, OH 45056
Contact NovaChem for firm pricing. Credit card via PayPal is accepted.
Once the results have been obtained, please contact Powell for a detailed review
of the current production efficiencies. Powell can recommend cost effective methods
for production improvements based on your current plant design.
This article is available as a PDF
and includes a "Chain of Custody" form.
Click here to download it. For more information about Sodium Hypochlorite,
visit the Technical