The progress of oxygen utilization, y, with respect to time may be monitored by respirometry. Figure 2.2 shows a schematic of an electrolytic respirometer. As the waste is consumed, CO2 is produced which is then absorbed by a potassium hydroxide solution by a chemical reaction. This absorption causes the pressure inside the bottle to decrease. This decrease is sensed by the electrode triggering the electrolytic decomposition of H2O to produce O2 and H2.
The O2 is channeled toward the inside of the bottle to recover the pressure and the H2 is vented to the atmosphere. The amount of oxygen consumed by the waste is correlated with the amount of oxygen electrolytically produced to maintain the pressure inside the bottle.
Example 2.2 The following data represent the cumulative amount of oxygen uptake for a river water receiving waste. Calculate Lc and kc.
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