Some considerations in polyphosphate determinations of activated sludge extracts

D. W. de Haas, L. H. Lotter, I. A. Dubery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Powdered activated carbon (PAC) in stirred batch systems may be used selectively to remove nucleic acids from mixtures with polyphosphates, but simultaneous polyphosphate adsorption occurs in weakly ionic environments at acidic, neutral or basic pH. The addition of 1% (m/v) trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and 0,5 M perchloric acid (PCA), the sodium salts of these acids, served to abolish the adsorption of polyphosphate (Graham's salt, n = 16) at acidic, neutral or basic pH. Moreover, the adsorption of nucleic acids to PAC is enhanced by 1% TCA at neutral to basic pH. A convenient method for washing PAC free of phosphate is supplied. The significance of the above findings is discussed in relation to published results for chemical fractionation of activated sludge phosphorus compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalWater S.A.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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