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The problem of nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), a substitute with better qualities than tripolyphosphate as a builder in detergents, is of great interest because of the problems caused by its impact on water networks. This work has studied the biodegradability of NTA-3Na in lake waters with the appropriate sediments. Four lakes with varying degrees of trophism, Comabbio, Varese, Maggiore and Monate, were chosen. They range from hypertrophy to oligomesotrophy. A close relationship was found between microbiological activity and degree of trophism in the water body examined. The NTA disappeared after less than 200 hours in the first three lakes, while for Monate 13% of the added NTA-3Na remained after 360 hours. Also it was confirmed that there was a strong absorption by the solid component (suspended particulate and sediment) of the trisodium salt of the nitrilotriacetic acid, which varied between 29 and 73% of the total added. With a second addition a greater rate of biodegradation and less absorption were found.

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Authors: MARENGO G, JRC Ispra (IT);LIBERT Y, JRC Ispra (IT);MOGGIAN BARBAN E, Università degli Studi di Milano (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Aqua e Aria, No.1 (1990) pp. 35-40
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