Determining whether a certain compound is toxic (or inhibitor) or not to a biomass of a WWTP is crucial in order to avoid WWTP malfunction. Respirometric techniques have been commonly used to assess the toxicity of a certain compound by evaluating the oxygen uptake rate (OUR) profile obtained when a pulse of substrate is added to endogenous biomass and comparing it with the OUR profile obtained when the pulse is a mixture of substrate and the possible toxic or inhibitor (PTI). However, when using this method with biodegradable compounds some difficulties arise because the PTI consumption implies oxygen consumption as well. In this study, a modified procedure for toxicity assessment using respirometry is developed which overcomes the difficulties caused by the toxic biodegradability. This procedure is based on the comparison of different respirograms obtained with pulses of control substrate before and after adding the PTI and with a pulse of PTI and control substrate together. Moreover, some examples are shown with p-phenylenediamine and phenol as an example of toxic and inhibitor for nitrifying biomass.

This content is only available as a PDF.