Environmental Implications of Substitution of Polyphosphate in Detergents by Chelating Ligands
This paper is an attempt to describe the possible impact of substitutes for polyphosphates in popular detergents on the environment. From different substituents, chelating ligands, like EDTA and NTA, were chosen, as they are also widely used in a number of processes and technologies. Actual levels of EDTA and NTA in the raw domestic sewage and at every step of the typical municipal wastewater treatment were measured using ion chromatography. Contents of EDTA and NTA in the popular washing powders were also checked. EDTA was reported to be non-degradable and no decrease of its level in the wastes passing through the treatment plant was observed. NTA was reported to be biodegradable, which was confirmed by a very low level of NTA in the raw wastes. In Poland industrial wastes containing heavy metals are often mixed with the municipal sewage system only after primary pre-treatment, so possible implications of the presence of non-degradable chelating ligands in the wastes and water environment were discussed.
KeywordsSugar Phosphorus Dioxide Magnesium Europe
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