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EXPERIMENT 3: CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (COD)

1.0

INTRODUCTION
The chemical oxygen demand (COD) test is usually used to measure the amount of

organic compounds in water. Mostly, the applications of COD determine the amount of
organic pollutants found in surface of water such as lakes and rivers. Measure the COD is one
of useful method to indicate the quality of water. It is expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L)
which shows the mass of oxygen consumed per liter of solution. COD is the measurement of
the amount of oxygen in water consumed for the chemical oxidation of pollutants. Besides,
COD also determines the quantity of oxygen required to oxidize the organic matter in water
or waste water sample, under specific conditions of oxidizing agent, temperature and time.

2.0

OBJECTIVES
To determine the amount of organic pollutants in effluents

3.0

MATERIALS

i.

Potassium Dichromate (K2Cr2O7),

ii.

Sulfuric acid (2 4 ),

iii. Mercuric Sulfate (Hg4 ),


iv. Silver Sulfate.

4.0
i.

APPARATUS
HACH equipment

5.0

PROCEDURES
The procedure for COD test followed Standard Methods APHA 5220-C where the
samples were refluxed in strong acid solution with a known excess potassium
dichromate (K2Cr2O7), Sulfuric acid (2 4 ), Mercuric Sulfate (Hg4 ), and Silver
Sulfate in special vials used for HACH methods.
The procedures for the test are as follows:

i.

2 ml of deionized water is added into one of the sample cell (blank).

ii.

2 ml of the effluent sample also been added to another sample cell.

iii. The entire sample cell is then heated for two hours using COD reactor at around
150C and left to cool down to room temperature.
iv. After that, the samples were tested by using HACH equipment.
v.

The program for high range and high range plus COD is selected by pressing 2720
and details HACH PROGRAM: 2720 COD, HR, HR PLUS is shown. For low range
COD, the number 2710 is pressed and the display shows HACH PROGRAM: 2710
COD, LR.

vi. The Test N Tube Adapter is inserted into the sample cell module by sliding it under
the thumb screw and into the alignment grooves. The thumb screw is fastened.
vii. The outside of the blank is cleaned with a towel to remove fingerprints or other mark
before been placed into the adapter.
viii. After the blank been placed into the adapter, the light shield is then closed.
ix. The soft key under ZERO is pressed where the display will show 0 mg/L COD.
x.

The other sample vial is then tested using the same method. Results were displayed in
mg/L COD.

6.0 RESULT AND DISCUSSION


Sample concentration and COD standard concentration
Vial

Concentration (mg/L)

Standard (mg/L)

Blank

Sample

111

80

The objective of this experiment is achieved by determining the amount of organic


pollutants in effluents. Based on the test conducted, the concentration for Chemical Oxygen
Demand (COD) is measured at 111 mg/L.
The chemical oxygen demand (COD) test is commonly used to indirectly measure the
amount of organic compounds in water. It is the oxygen required to chemically oxidize all
the carbon containing material present in a body of water. If organic matter decomposes it
will use up dissolved oxygen, thus threatening living organisms. Most applications of COD
determine the amount of organic pollutants found in surface water or wastewater, making
COD a useful measure of water quality.
Oxygen demand testing does not determine the concentration of a specific substance;
rather, it measures the effect of a combination of substances and conditions. Because oxygen
demand is not a pollutant, it poses no direct threat to fish or other life. It can, however, pose
an indirect threat to living organisms by reducing the level of dissolved oxygen. Hence, we
need to reduce the COD level in water.
Based on this experiment, a vial served as a control. Distilled water is added instead
of water sample. It is measured as 0 mg/L. A vial with water sample served as sample vial.
The sample vial is tested to indirectly determine the amount of organic compound in the
water sample. The COD level is then compared to Environmental Quality (Industrial
Effluent) Regulations 2009, the Seventh Schedule Standard A. Standard A is chosen because
of the source located at the upstream of the water flow.
The standard for COD discharge as stated is 80 mg/L for other industries. However,
the water sample exceeds the acceptable condition which is 111 mg/L. This may cause from
the activities around the water source.

7.0

CONCLUSION
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is often measured as a rapid indicator of organic

pollutant in water. It is normally measured in both municipal and industrial wastewater


treatment plants and gives an indication of the efficiency of the treatment process. COD is
measured on both influent and effluent water. The efficiency of the treatment process is
normally expressed as COD Removal, measured as a percentage of the organic matter
purified during the cycle. It is expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L), which indicates the
mass of oxygen consumed per liter of solution.

8.0

QUESTIONS

1. Define and explain the Chemical oxygen demand (COD).


Chemical oxygen demand (COD) test that measure the oxygen requirement to oxidize the
organic matter by a strong oxidizing agent in an acidic medium. It is able to determine
organics which both biodegradable and non-biodegradable. COD test is commonly used to
indirectly measure the amount of organic compounds in water. Most applications of COD
determine the amount of organic pollutants found in surface water.

2. State the advantages of COD over BOD.


Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

Biological oxygen demand (BOD)

Measure the total of all chemicals in the Measure the amount of food (or organic
water that can be oxidized.

carbons) that bacteria can oxidize.

Simple and easy to perform, can be done in Usually takes 5 days to get the result.
2 hours.
Able to determine organics which both Only
biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

able to

biodegradable.

determine

organic

for