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Suitability of the respirometric BOD oxitop method for determining the biodegradability of oils in ground water using forestry hydraulic oils as model compounds

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Different forestry hydraulic oils were used as model compounds for evaluating the applicability of the respirometric BOD Oxitop method in following the progress of biodegradation of oils in ground water. It is obvious that the biodegradability values of substances depend on the measurement medium used. In this study the same ground water was used in all the ground water experiments. It was observed that the biodegradability of hydraulic oils is dependent on the oil type, being faster for bio oils than for mineral oils. The rate of biodegradation of used hydraulic oils was slower than that of corresponding new oils. All the experiments show that the respirometric BOD Oxitop method is a good and reasonable method for monitoring the biodegradability of oils in water, and the method is independent of the biology and composition of the measurement medium. No changes to the equipment are necessary if conditions are changed. Because the method needs only one sample for measurement, and monitoring of the pressure in the closed bottles is automatic, biodegradability is determined easily and quickly. The precision of the results studied was good. By contrast, traditional measurement of biodegradability using IR, for example, is time consuming, requiring several samples and a considerable amount of poisonous extraction solvent (CCl4). Nevertheless, studies describing the biodegradability of oils using the respirometric BOD Oxitop method have not been published previously.
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Keywords: BOD Oxitop method; Biodegradability; Forestry oil; Ground water

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry University of Oulu P.O. Box 3000 FIN-90014 Oulu Finland 2: Suomen Ympäristöpalvelu Oy Kiilakiventie 1 FIN-90250 Oulu Finland 3: Seinäjoki Polytechnic School of Forestry Tuomarniementie 55 FIN-63700 Ähtäri Finland

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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