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Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) bioassays measure the amount of biodegradable organics in water samples using mixed culture seeds. The BOD method relies on the dissolved oxygen reduction while the BDOC procedure, which is more novel, is based on the dissolved organic carbon decrease during the incubation. In this study, three commercial BOD seeds, namely BOD Seed, Bi-Chem and Polyseed, were tested as inocula for BDOC measurement. Standard solutions, secondary effluent and raw surface water samples were used. BDOC exertions provided by the commercial seeds were compared with those obtained from two existing BDOC inocula, indigenous and mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) seeds. The commercial and indigenous inocula provided similar exertion trends and BDOC results that were not significantly different for surface water samples while the results for secondary effluent samples were inconclusive. The MLSS inoculum tended to induce slightly higher BDOC values than the commercial and indigenous inocula. It is possible to use the commercial BOD inocula as seeds for BDOC determination but the results might not be statistically the same as those of the indigenous inoculum for certain types of samples.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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