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Phosphorus Nutrient Essential for plant growth Metabolism ADP to ATP DNA & RNA Fertilizers and Detergents Biological productivity & water quality.

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Presentation on theme: "Phosphorus Nutrient Essential for plant growth Metabolism ADP to ATP DNA & RNA Fertilizers and Detergents Biological productivity & water quality."— Presentation transcript:

1 Phosphorus Nutrient Essential for plant growth Metabolism ADP to ATP DNA & RNA Fertilizers and Detergents Biological productivity & water quality

2 Forms of Phosphorus Phosphorus occurs naturally in rocks Weathering releases phosphate ions (PO 4 -3 ) Inorganic Orthophosphates Polyphosphates (Metaphosphates) Organic phosphate

3 Forms of Phosphorus Orthophosphates Readily available to the biological community Typically found in low concentrations in unpolluted waters H 3 PO 4 H 2 PO 4 - HPO 4 2- PO 4 3-

4 Forms of Phosphorus Polyphosphates Molecularly dehydrated forms of orthophosphates Used in detergents and treating boiler waters In water, they are transformed to orthophosphates and available for plant uptake

5 Forms of Phosphorus Organic Phosphate bound or tied up in plant tissue, waste solids, or other organic material When decomposed thru bacterial action, phosphate released and returned to environment

6 Imp. of Phosphorus Key element for plants and animals Limiting nutrient Too much = eutrophication Relationship between C, N and P C:N:P Ratio 106:16:1

7 Imp. of Phosphorus Critical Level of Inorganic Phosphorus: mg/L

8 Phosphate Cycle

9 Human Impacts Commercial synthetic fertilizers Apatite mining Aurora Phosphate Mine, NC Polyphosphates are used in boilers

10 Human Impacts Waste Water Treatment Average person releases 1.5 g/day Prior to the development of detergents: Inorganic 2-3 mg/L Organic 0.5 – 1 mg/L EPA: Sewage effluent should not contain > 1 mg/L Unpolluted waters usually < 0.1 mg/L

11 Human Impacts Heavy-duty synthetic detergents Contain polyphosphates 12-13% phosphorus Domestic wastewater 2-3x inorganic P due to detergents

12 Methods Gravimetric, volumetric and colorimetric Organic and polyphosphates have to be converted to orthophosphate for measurement


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