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  Section: Plant Protocol » Environmental Science Methodology
 
 
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Determination of B.O.D of Wastewater Sample

 
     
 
Aim
To determine the amount of B.O.D. exerted by the given sample(s).

Principle
The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) of sewage or of polluted water is the amount of oxygen required for the biological decomposition of dissolved organic matter to occur under aerobic condition and at the standardised time and temperature. Usually, the time is taken as 5 days and the temperature 20°C as per the global standard.

The B.O.D. test is among the most important method in sanitary analysis to determine the polluting power, or strength of sewage, industrial wastes or polluted water. It serves as a measure of the amount of clean diluting water required for the successful disposal of sewage by dilution. The test has its widest application in measuring waste loading to treatment plants and in evaluating the efficiency of such treatment systems.

The test consists in taking the given sample in suitable concentrations in dilute water in B.O.D. bottles. Two bottles are taken for each concentration and three concentrations are used for each sample. One set of bottles is incubated in a B.O.D. incubator for 5 days at 20°C; the dissolved oxygen (initial) content (D1) in the other set of bottles will be determined immediately. At the end of 5 days, the dissolved oxygen content (D2) in the incubated set of bottles is determined.

Then, mg/L B.O.D. = (D1 – D2 )
P

where,
P = decimal fraction of sample used.
D1 = dissolved oxygen of diluted sample (mg/L), immediately after preparation.
D2 = dissolved oxygen of diluted sample (mg/L), at the end of 5 days incubation.


Among the three values of B.O.D. obtained for a sample select that dilution showing the residual dissolved oxygen of at least 1 mg/L and a depletion of at least 2 mg/L. If two or more dilutions are showing the same condition then select the B.O.D. value obtained by that dilution in which the maximum dissolved oxygen depletion is obtained.

Apparatus
  1. B.O.D. bottles 300mL capacity
  2. B.O.D. incubator
  3. Burette
  4. Pipette
  5. Air compressor
  6. Measuring cylinder etc.
Reagents
  1. Distilled water
  2. Phosphate buffer solution
  3. Magnesium sulphate solution
  4. Calcium chloride solution
  5. Ferric chloride solution
  6. Acid and alkali solution
  7. Seeding
  8. Sodium sulphite solution
  9. Reagents required for the determination of D.O.

Procedure
  1. Place the desired volume of distilled water in a 5 litre flask (usually about 3 litres of distilled water will be needed for each sample).
  2. Add 1mL each of phosphate buffer, magnesium sulphate solution, calcium chloride solution and ferric chloride solution for every litre of distilled water.
  3. Seed the sample with 1-2 mL of settled domestic sewage.
  4. Saturate the dilution water in the flask by aerating with a supply of clean compressed air for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Highly alkaline or acidic samples should be neutralised to pH 7.
  6. Destroy the chlorine residual in the sample by keeping the sample exposed to air for 1 to 2 hours or by adding a few mL of sodium sulphite solution.
  7. Take the sample in the required concentrations. The following concentrations are suggested:
          Strong industrial waste : 0.1, 0.5 and 1 per cent
          Raw and settled sewage : 1.0, 2.5 and 5 per cent
          Oxidised effluents : 5, 12.5 and 25 per cent
          Polluted river water : 25, 50 and 100 per cent
  8. Add the required quantity of sample (calculate for 650 mL dilution water the required quantity of sample for a particular concentration) into a 1000 mL measuring cylinder. Add the dilution water up to the 650mL mark.
  9. Mix the contents in the measuring cylinder.
  10. Add this solution into two B.O.D. bottles, one for incubation and the other for determination of initial dissolved oxygen in the mixture.
  11. Prepare in the same manner for other concentrations and for all the other samples.
  12. Lastly fill the dilution water alone into two B.O.D. bottles. Keep one for incubation and the other for determination of initial dissolved oxygen.
  13. Place the set of bottles to be incubated in a B.O.D. incubator for 5 days at 20°C. Care should be taken to maintain the water seal over the bottles throughout the period of incubation.
  14. Determine the initial dissolved oxygen contents in the other set of bottles and note down the results.
  15. Determine the dissolved oxygen content in the incubated bottles at the end of 5 days and note down the results.
  16. Calculate the B.O.D. of the given sample.
Note: The procedure for determining the dissolved oxygen content is same as described in the experiment under "Determination of dissolved oxygen".



Observation



Sample Calculation
D1 = Initial Dissolved Oxygen = ...... mg/L
D2 = Dissolved Oxygen at the end of 5 days = ...... mg/L
P = Decimal fraction of sample used = ......

Therefore, mg/L of B.O.D. = (D1 – D2 )   = ......
P



Result
 
     
 
 
     



     
 
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