Prelaboratory Questions And Problems

1. Explain why is it important to measure the MBAS content of an environmental sample of water. What are the negative effects of the presence of these compounds in aquatic natural systems?

2. Explain why is it important to measure the phosphorus or phosphate content of an environmental sample of water. What are the positive and negative effects of the presence of such ions in aquatic natural systems?

3. Seek in the literature the maximum permissible concentrations in drinking water for anionic surfactants and for total phosphate or phosphorus content.

4. What are the limits of phosphorus concentration in water in order to have a eutrophic lake or river?

5. Establish the reactions involved in the phosphate analysis, including the one related to the acid hydrolysis of the condensed inorganic phosphorous.

6. Give two reasons as of why the methylene blue method cannot be used for cationic surfactants.

7. What would it happen if the methylene blue method were applied to a soap-containing water sample?

8. What are the main interferences in the two methods studied in this experiment?

9. For the MBAS method, what is the reason for the acid wash of the organic phase (once the extraction has been carried out)?

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