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Determination of formaldehyde by flow injection analysis with spectrophotometric detection exploiting brilliant green–sulphite reaction

Lúcio Bolognesi, Eder J. dos Santos, and Gilberto Abate

Instituto de Tecnologia do Paraná (TECPAR), 81350-010 Curitiba, PR, Brazil



Abstract: A method for the determination of formaldehyde by flow injection analysis with spectrophotometric detection is proposed, based on retarding the reaction between brilliant green and sulphite by the addition of formaldehyde; this was investigated for formaldehyde quantification in extracts from wood-based panels. For the first time, a heating step was explored, providing a sample throughput of 50 analyses per hour, with a limit of detection of 0.02 mg L−1 and linearity of 0.20-3.0 mg L−1, which was adequate for the expected range of formaldehyde concentration in the extracts. The mean recovery observed for actual samples was in the range of 92-106 %, with a maximum relative standard deviation of 6.0 %. The paired t-test revealed no significant difference between this method and the official Nash method, demonstrating an appropriate accuracy and precision; the method is proposed as a simple, fast and inexpensive alternative for the routine determination of formaldehyde in an aqueous medium.

Keywords: formaldehyde determination – brilliant green-sulphite – spectrophotometry – flow injection analysis – wood-based panels

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0084


Chemical Papers 69 (6) 791–798 (2015)

Monday, June 17, 2024

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