This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: 1 Biology 109 Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving Prof. J. T. Lehman Case Study: The Detergent Problem According to the Soap and Detergent Industry: All living organisms are composed mainly of the chemical elements: ¾ Carbon ¾ Nitrogen ¾ Phosphorus ¾ Sulfur ¾ Oxygen ¾ Hydrogen Chemical elements in algae and other living organic matter occur in characteristic proportions to each other. 2 Quote from W. J. Oswald, Prof of Sanitary Engineering How do chemical elements become part of living organisms? Algae and other plants take up simple gases and mineral nutrients like those found in agricultural fertilizer: Carbon Dioxide Nitrate Phosphate Water With energy obtained from sunlight, plants convert these raw material chemical building blocks into sugars, proteins, and fats: organic matter. Properly operating WWTPs decompose organic matter back to inorganic minerals: Organic Carbon Æ carbon dioxide Organic Nitrogen Æ nitrate Organic Phosphorus Æ phosphate Animal waste is typically rich in phosphorus, plus wastewater contains extra phosphorus from detergents and tap water. 3...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/21/2011 for the course BIOLOGY 109 taught by Professor Lehman during the Winter '11 term at University of Michigan.
- Winter '11