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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;76(4):951-6. Epub 2007 Jun 30.

Effects of dilution on dissolved oxygen depletion and microbial populations in the biochemical oxygen demand determination.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyeok-Dong, Buk-Gu, Daegu, 702-01, South Korea.


The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) value is still a key parameter that can determine the level of organics, particularly the content of biodegradable organics in water. In this work, the effects of sample dilution, which should be done inevitably to get appropriate dissolved oxygen (DO) depletion, on the measurement of 5-day BOD (BOD(5)), was investigated with and without seeding using natural and synthetic water. The dilution effects were also evaluated for water samples taken in different seasons such as summer and winter because water temperature can cause a change in the types of microbial species, thus leading to different oxygen depletion profiles during BOD testing. The predation phenomenon between microbial cells was found to be dependent on the inorganic nutrients and carbon sources, showing a change in cell populations according to cell size after 5-day incubation. The dilution of water samples for BOD determination was linked to changes in the environment for microbial growth such as nutrition. The predation phenomenon between microbial cells was more important with less dilution. BOD(5) increased with the specific amount of inorganic nutrient per microbial mass when the natural water was diluted. When seeding was done for synthetic water samples, the seed volume also affected BOD due to the rate of organic uptake by microbes. BOD(5) increased with the specific bacterial population per organic source supplied at the beginning of BOD measurement. For more accurate BOD measurements, specific guidelines on dilution should be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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