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Determination of the water level in e-liquids

Water can be a residual component present in raw materials, an impurity from the manufacturing process or an ingredient present in the finished product. In each case, it is necessary for a e-liquid manufacturer to know the water content of its product or in its raw materials.

Detection method

Karl Fischer

Volume required


Analysis time

3 working days

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Water in e-liquids

This analysis can intervene in all the manufacturing steps of an e-liquid, from recipe development to verification of the finished product before its marketing. This service ensures compliance of the processes of manufacturing and control of the stability of the product over time.

The ingésciences laboratory carries out this analysis using a Karl Fischer titrator. This technique provides a precise reliable analysis of the water content. The Karl Fischer method is used for many other substances as reference. It’s a chemical analysis protocol based on the oxidation of sulphur dioxide by iodine in a solution of hydroxymethane. In the coulometric protocol, the iodine taking part in the reaction is generated directly in the titration cell by electrochemical oxidation of the iodide until non-reactive iodine is detected. Faraday’s law can be used to calculate the amount of iodine generated from the amount of electricity required.

Why is water present in e-liquids?

Water is a residual component coming from the products used for the manufacture of e-liquids for e-cigarettes. Certain manufacturers would tend to add it at around 1-10% in order to liquify the e-liquid.

For information, if the amount of water present in e-liquids is too high, then this disadvantages the vaporisation of an e-liquid.

Why analyse the water content in e-liquids?

Since 2016, the manufacturers of e-liquids for electronic cigarettes must declare on a European notification platform the composition of all products containing nicotine, in application of the TPD, the European directive on tobacco products. To meet these requirements, all the components of a nicotine liquid having a concentration greater than 0.1% must be known and quantified. So, it is necessary to know the concentration of water in the product and in its emissions in order to make this declaration.

Do you require an analysis?

Determine the water content in your products?