University of Oulu

Environmental applications of manometric respirometric methods

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Author: Roppola, Katri1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2009
Publish Date: 2009-04-22
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu for public defence in Auditorium TS101, Linnanmaa, on 2 May 2009, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Associate Professor Yen Peng Ting
Professor Tuula Tuhkanen


In this work a manometric respirometric measuring system was applied to practical environmental cases related to wastewater management and biodegradation studies of oil-contaminated soils and materials used in landfill structures. Pollution of groundwater, surface water and soils is a worldwide problem. Therefore, tests simulating the biodegradation behaviour of organic compounds in water media and soils have become increasingly important. Respirometric methods provide direct measurement of the oxygen consumed by micro-organisms in biodegradation processes from an air or oxygen-enriched environment in a closed vessel.

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is a crucial environmental parameter used to measure the quality of water and treatment results in wastewater. Generally, BOD is measured with standardised methods, which are usually time-consuming as well as laborious. In this work the manometric respirometric test was compared with conventional BOD tests by determining the BOD of pulp and paper mills as well as domestic wastewater samples. The effect of different factors such as type, amount and pre-treatment of inoculum and the effect of dilution of a sample on the BOD values were also tested. A right dilution was noticed to be the most significant factor affecting the BOD values of the industrial wastewater samples. The mathematic estimation of the BOD7 values from the respirometric data was proved to work reliably after a 2–3 day incubation period. Characterisation of organic fractions of the pulp and paper mill wastewater was carried out with methods including filtration, long term BOD measurements and COD analyses. The most significant observation in characterisation analyses was that a remarkable part of the detected oxygen demand was consumed for the biotransformation of biodegradable fractions into new inert decomposition products, not only for mineralisation of the biodegradable COD fraction.

Biodegradation behaviour of the peat samples with different decomposition rates was studied in order to evaluate the applicable peat types that can be used in landfill structures. Only minor (BOD/ThOD < 0.4%) biodegradation was observed with compaction peat samples, and the stable state, in which biodegradation stopped, was achieved during a two month period. The manometric respirometric method was also applied for the biodegradation studies in which the effect of the modification of soil properties on biodegradation rates of bio-oils was tested. Modified properties were the nutrient content and the pH of the soil. Fertiliser addition and pH adjustment increased both the BOD/ThOD% values of the model substances and the precision of the measurement. The manometric respirometric method was proved to be an advanced method for simulating biodegradation processes in soil and water media.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 978-951-42-9079-4
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-9078-7
Issue: 527
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2009. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.