Two well known derivatization methods, butylation and methylation, are compared by gas chromatography (GC)–mass spectrometry (MS) to identify organic acids in Bayer liquors. These two derivatization methods should be combined together for the determination of the carboxylic acids. Twenty-four organic acids are identified by GC–MS and 13 organic acids are firstly found in Bayer liquors. The retention times and the carbon number of these seven n-dicarboxylic acids (C4–C10) are fit into the linear relationship in Microsoft Excel

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