Lab Report: Chemical Oxygen Demand

598 words | 2 page(s)

Waste water discharged to the environment by industrial facilities has environmental consequences. These consequences can be analyzed through the help of the chemical oxygen demand lab that offers a guide on the quality of water discharged. This coupled with chemical oxygen demand values of effluents and influents suggest that the higher the value of chemical oxygen demand values, the higher the amount of organic matter in the test water that can be oxidized. This goes to show that waste waters could register reduced dissolved oxygen level that could in turn be very dangerous for aquatic life. Additionally, the reliability of the chemical oxygen demand test cannot be faulted. This is because it took a short amount of time for the test to be completed.

A measure of the chemical oxygen demand in this test is a measure of organic compound found in the test water. Through this measure of COD, it is easy to determine the quality of water since the process itself measures the quality of water. Quality of waste water discharged is an issue of big concern for many people as more people are interested in knowing the bulk of organic pollutants found in waste waters as well as water bodies such as rivers and lakes. This test is therefore very important as it helped answer the question on quality of water.

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Through the chemical oxygen demand test, we are able to comprehend the oxygen needed to oxidize industrial water in a reasonable way. It is for this reason why the measure of effluents and influents in the test were very important as it helps determine the amount of organic matter in a waste water treatment plant that can be oxidized. Waste water treatment facilities subject polluted water to organic treatment. However, the determination of pollution of the water is dependent on the COD values of the tested water. A ratio of greater than or equal to 0.8 shows that the waste water is extremely polluted and thus in need of organic treatment. Other than comprehending the extent of pollution of waste water, it is also important to determine the effects of this waste material and especially to aquatic life.

The first hypothesis of the experiment was to determine the toxicity of the waste water while the second hypothesis was to determine whether the toxic levels are at a harmful or destructive level. Form the experiment results; the value of COD influent was 245 mg/L while that of COD effluent was 29.3 mg/L. Calculations of the percentage reduction is as shown below.

The percentage reduction was below 0.1196 which is way below 0.8% thus showing that the wastewater was not dangerously polluted. The water was however toxic but not to a harmful level which satisfied the first hypothesis of the experiment. The toxicity of the water can therefore be referred to as moderate.

Waste water will almost certainly have organic impurities. However, the level of impurities cannot be determined through mere observation by our naked eyes. This is why experimental procedures are necessary for determination. The chemical oxygen demand method is one of the most common and effective way of determining the presence and level of toxicity in water. The method is also fast thus saving on time. It is for this reason why the method was used in our experiment. However, our findings showed that the toxicity level in the test water was low since the reduction value was far below the required 0.8% for it to be termed toxic. However, low toxicity levels does not nullify the fact the test water was indeed polluted.

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