Analysis of Sewage Sludge

Sewage sludge is included in this section due to the high water content of such samples, which require similar pretreatment for trace-level organics to those discussed above for sediment samples. The material, however, has a high organic content and so digestion is necessary before any metal analysis is carried out. Typically, this would involve heating with concentrated nitric acid in a Kjeldahl apparatus (see Figure 5.3) and extraction of the metal ions after dilution with water.

SAQ 5.6

What are the relative merits of investigating metal or insoluble organic compound pollution in a river or sea by:

(a) analysis of the water;

(b) analysis of the sediment;

(c) analysis of seaweed

(d) analysis of the fish or shellfish?

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