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Glossary


EVISA is providing a list of terms used in the area of speciation and fractionation analysis. Since speciation analysis is a field of analytical chemistry that is specified by a pronounced interdisciplinary cooperation between different sciences such as biochemistry, medicine, biology, environmental sciences, nutritional sciences and material sciences its terminology is a complex mixture of terms used in all these.

You may search for a term or browse the glossary alphabetically.

(In case that you cannot find the term you may consult more special glossaries or handbooks about nomenclature. For more details please consult EVISA's List of Glossaries)





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hydrolyzable phosphorus
Phosphorus in the sample as measured by the sulfuric acid hydrolysis procedure, and minus pre-determined orthophosphates (EPA, 1979). Includes dissolved and particulate condensed phosphate that is converted to dissolved orthophosphate through acidification of the sample (APHA, 1989). It is referred to as Dissolved hydrolyzable P or Total hydrolyzable P, when measured on filtered or  unfiltered sample, respectively.

organic phosphorus
Phosphorus fraction that has been formed primarily by biological processes. Organic phosphorus is converted to orthophosphate only by oxidative destruction of the organic matter (APHA, 1989). Total organic P maybe quantified by subtracting dissolved hydrolyzable phosphorus and orthophosphate values from total phosphorus (EPA, 1979). Dissolved organic P maybe quantified by subtracting dissolved hydrolyzable P and OPO4 from TDP result.

phosphorus
Phosphorus is one of the key elements necessary for growth of plants and animals. Phosphates (PO4---) are formed from this element. Phosphates exist in three forms: orthophosphate, metaphosphate (or polyphosphate) and organically bound phosphate. Each compound contains phosphorous in a different chemical formula. Ortho forms are produced by natural processes and are found in sewage. Poly forms are used for treating boiler waters and in detergents. In water, they change into the ortho form. Organic phosphates are important in nature. Their occurrence may result from the breakdown of organic pesticides, which contain phosphates. They may exist in solution, as particles, loose fragments or in the bodies of aquatic organisms. Rainfall can cause varying amounts of phosphates to wash from farm soils into nearby waterways. Phosphate will stimulate the growth of plankton and aquatic plants which provide food for fish. This may cause an increase in the fish population and improve the overall water quality. However, if an excess of phosphate enters the waterway, algae and aquatic plants will grow wildly, choke up the waterway and use up large amounts of oxygen. This condition is known as eutrophication or over-fertilization of receiving waters. This rapid growth of aquatic vegetation eventually dies and as it decays it uses up oxygen. This process in turn causes the death of aquatic life because of the further reduction of dissolved oxygen levels.

reactive phosphate
Soluble reactive Phosphate (SRP) or Total Reactive Phosphate (TRP)
Phosphorus form that responds to colorimetric test without preliminary hydrolysis or digestion. Although reactive phosphate is comprised largely of orthophosphates, it may include easily hydrolyzable inorganic and organic forms of P (APHA, 1989, Baldwin, 1998). Reactive phosphate maybe measured in both filtered* (dissolved SRP, the most commonly measured form of SRP) or unfiltered (total reactive phosphate) (EPA, 1979).










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