Three methods for determining chemical oxygen demand (COD) by means of flow injection analysis (FIA) with potassium permanganate, potassium dichromate, or cerium(IV) sulfate as oxidant, developed in this laboratory, are described from the point of view of their operating properties. The permanganate method is the most sensitive and common, but forms manganese(IV) oxide precipitate which blocks the FIA lines and connectors. Addition of phosphoric acid in the reagent system is, however, effective to some extent in order to avoid blocking the flow system. The dichromate method is the most workable and stable, but produces toxic wastes containing chromium(VI). The cerium method is the most probable because cerium(IV) is the strongest oxidant of the three and less poisonous. The last method with
cerium(IV) sulfate is therefore recommendable to apply to the continuous monitoring of COD in many situation.