Application Note

Analysis of United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Grade Isopropyl Alcohol Impurities


Isopropyl alcohol, also known as Isopropanol or IPA, is commonly used as a sanitizer especially on skin surfaces such as prior to an injection of a vaccine or medicine. It is imperative this solution does not contain any impurities that are known to be a health hazard thus, the requirement for quality testing. The USP has published specifications for the maximum levels of known IPA targeted impurities including ethyl ether, acetone, diisopropyl ether, 1-propanol, and 2-butanol at 0.1% or less.

This analysis is explored with gas chromatography (GC) in two parts; the USP recommend conditions producing a 42-minute analysis time and a speed optimized method for rapid, accurate and precise result in less than 6 minutes.