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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Inositol Polyphosphates in Activated Sludge1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 2 No. 4, p. 483-485

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  1. D. J. Cosgrove2



Although it is known that some of the soluble inorganic phosphate present in waste water can be fixed as organic forms in the activated sludge process, there is little knowledge of the chemical nature of these products. Recently, the extraction of “inositol phosphate” from activated sludge was described, but whether the product consisted only of myo-inositol phosphates or was a mixture was not determined. In the present investigation, inositol polyphosphates were extracted from activated sludge using methods previously developed in investigations of soil organic phosphates. Ion exchange chromatography of the purified extract showed it to be a mixture of penta- and hexaphosphates of myo-, chiro-, scyllo- and neo-inositol and thus to resemble the inositol polyphosphate component of soil organic matter. As the same polyphosphate mixture does not apparently occur in raw sewage (hydrolysates of dried raw sewage were found to contain no other inositol but the myo-isomer), it would appear that it is formed as a result of biological action during the aeration process.

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