What is Total Organic Carbon in wastewater treatment ?

The organic carbon in wastewater is composed of a variety of organic compounds in various oxidation states. All household wastewater (everything from the discharge from the garbage disposal to the discharge from the toilet) and industrial and retail wastewater (from food processing plants, restaurants, etc.) make their way to the wastewater treatment plant. The Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysis is a way of estimating the organic load in the wastewater.

The TOC is often measured by combustion of the sample to yield CO2 and H2O. The CO2 is measured by titration or IR analysis. Because inorganic carbonates, etc. will yield CO2 also, the inorganic carbon must be determined separately and subtracted from the CO2 from the combustion.

Total organic carbon (TOC) is the amount of carbon bound in an organic compound and is often used as a non-specific indicator of water quality or cleanliness of pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.

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