The Fertilizer Project DONE

The Fertilizer Project DONE - The Fertilizer Project-...

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The Fertilizer Project-Analysis of Phosphorus in Fertilizer Taylor MacDonald Partners : Genevieve Hinks, Allison Price, Michael 3/13/08 Thursday Group #34 TA: Upul
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Essay: Phosphorous is, in fact, an essential nutrient for all forms of life - it is an integral constituent of nucleic acids, and bones. It does not have very many health effects in its pure form the more significant effects are caused in the environment. Since phosphorous is a necessary nutrient for all plant and animal life as well, it is often used in fertilizer to increase the health and productivity of plants and crops. Since it is used in fertilizers, phosphorous is often found in abundance in rivers, lakes and streams because it is washed away with runoff water from the fields in the streams where it accumulates. Phosphorus is not likely to spread through the air, because it reacts with oxygen fairly quickly. In water, phosphorus is not reacting with other particles that quickly and as a result it will accumulate. In soil phosphorus will remain for several days before it is converted into less harmful substances. But in deep soils and the bottom of rivers and lakes phosphorus may remain for a thousand years or so. The increasing phosphor concentrations in surface waters raise the growth of phosphate-dependent organisms, such as algae and duckweed. These organisms use great amounts of oxygen and prevent sunlight from entering the water. This makes the water fairly unlivable for other organisms. This phenomenon is commonly known as eutrophication. Oxygen is required for all life forms on this planet, with the exception of some bacteria. So the mass amounts of algae formed because of the excess phosphorous, decrease the oxygen levels in the water due to the accelerated decay of organic material. Without the proper amounts of oxygen, many of the organisms in the water are unable to function efficiently and cannot survive. Thus, the increase in phosphorous kills many organisms such as fish, and other aquatic animals. The algae formed during this process also have the tendency to absorb and concentrate mineral nutrients in their cells. When they die, at the end of the growing season, the algae settle to the stream or lake bottom, from which they release these mineral and organic nutrients at the beginning of the next growing season. In this way they serve as a form of secondary pollution. These Algal mats, decaying algal clumps, form odors and discoloration of the water which will interfere with recreational and aesthetic water uses. These algae blooms could also clog water treatment plants and cause delay in the purification of water, or could completely poison the water and make it impossible to be purified. So, the increase in phosphorous causes many environmental problems. All these
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2010 for the course CHEM LAB 111 taught by Professor Sprague during the Fall '07 term at University of Cincinnati.

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The Fertilizer Project DONE - The Fertilizer Project-...

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