Dioctyl Sodium Sulphosuccinate can now be accurately analysed in wastewater with successful 1 method developed by Southern Scientific Services

Dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate

Dioctyl Sodium Sulphosuccinate can now be accurately analysed in wastewater with successful 1 method developed by Southern Scientific Services

Dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate: To satisfy client requirements, Southern Scientific Services has developed a rapid technique for analysis of the detergent/dispersant dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate in wastewater.


What is dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate?

Dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate (DOSS) is an ingredient in detergents and dispersants with trade names Manoxol-OT and Corexit. It is water-soluble and an all-purpose wetting agent used in the drugs, cosmetics and food industries. It can be used as a laxative.

It is typically a pale yellow or white powder with a slight, characteristic odor. It has widespread use as a detergent for washing and cleaning. It has been used as a dispersant to break up oil slicks.


How does dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate get into wastewater?

There are several ways that dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate can end up in wastewater. Typically, detergents occur in wastewater from commercial washing and cleaning activities. 

    1. Industrial Discharges: Industries that use DOSS in their manufacturing processes, such as the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food industries, may release wastewater containing DOSS as a byproduct. This can occur when DOSS-containing products or equipment are cleaned, or when excess product is disposed of improperly.
    2. Oil Spill Response: DOSS has been used as a dispersant in environmental cleanup efforts, particularly in response to oil spills. When applied to break up oil slicks on water surfaces, some DOSS may remain in the water and become part of wastewater during the cleanup process.

    3. Domestic Use: In households where products containing DOSS, such as certain laxatives or personal care items, are used and subsequently washed down drains, trace amounts of DOSS may enter domestic wastewater systems.

    4. Stormwater Runoff: In areas where DOSS has been used as a dispersant for oil spill response, there is a potential for DOSS to be washed into stormwater runoff during rain events. This runoff can eventually find its way into surface waters or wastewater treatment facilities.

    5. Accidental Spills: Accidental spills of DOSS-containing products can result in the introduction of DOSS into the environment and potentially into wastewater systems if not properly contained and cleaned up.


Wastewater discharge licences will have control limits for components likely to cause pollution in receiving waters. The EPA will have imposed these licence limits under the IPPC licensing system and by the local authority for smaller operations.


How does dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate affect humans?

The impact of dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate (DOSS) on humans when ingested in water largely depends on the concentration of DOSS, the duration of exposure, and individual sensitivity. In general, when DOSS is found in water at low levels within regulatory safety limits, it is considered safe for human consumption. It is important to note that DOSS is sometimes used as a dispersant in environmental cleanup efforts, such as oil spill response. In such cases, it can be present in water temporarily but is typically not at levels that would pose significant health risks to humans.

However, if DOSS is present in water at very high concentrations, well above established safety standards, it could potentially have adverse effects. These effects might include gastrointestinal discomfort or, in extreme cases, the risk of diarrhea or laxative effects due to its historical use as a laxative.


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How does Southern Scientific Services analyse dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate in wastewater?

The rapid technique involves solvent extraction with an acetonitrile salting step based on QuEChERS and direct injection into an LC Mass Spectrometer in tandem mode. The LCMS run is 15 minutes long. The method detection limit is 10ug/litre. The MS transitions are mass 421.2 to 80.9 and 421.2 to 227.2 as the confirmation ion.

Learn more about Southern Scientific’s organic solvents in wastewater testing services here.

If you’re using DOSS and are concerned about its presence in your wastewater, contact [email protected].

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