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An enzymic approach to the study of sewage and sludges

Sridhar, MKC and Pillai, SC (1974) An enzymic approach to the study of sewage and sludges. In: Environmental Pollution, 6 (3). pp. 195-220.

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The purpose of the work described here has been (a) to obtain some evidence on catalase (an oxidative enzyme) and protease, urease and phosphatase (hydrolytic enzymes) in sewage, activated sludge and septic tank sludge, and (b) to use this evidence, as a new approach, to find out the relationship between the main groups of the micro-organisms (bacteria and protozoa) and their relative influence on the purification process. To make a rapid assessment of the enzyme activities in these systems in the course of three weeks, as an experimental measure, rat tissues were added, which might serve as an additional or a ‘shock’ load of organic matter to follow broadly the development of bacteria and protozoa and the changes in the enzyme activities in the different systems. A control system with sewage alone was also run. The results showed that the initial decomposition of the fresh organic matter added to sewage and sludges was almost entirely due to bacterial activity and the later oxidative changes and removal of the suspended solids, including the bacteria, were largely due to the protozoa, such as Epistylis articulata. Analysis of the enzyme activities in the different materials showed, among other things, that the activated sludge, with its mized bacteria, protozoa and other organisms, as a whole, contained about twenty times more protease activity than an equivalent amount of the protozoan E. articulata, and that this protozoan contained five times more catalase activity than the activated sludge. The significance of these observations is discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Environmental Pollution
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2009 07:54
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2009 07:54
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/23250

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