Value of Chemical Fractionation for Identifying the Toxic Components of Complex Aqueous Effluents

    Published: Jan 1979

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    Chemical fractionation can be used to separate complex aqueous effluents into several less complex fractions, and this technique has been combined with mutagenesis testing to provide an effective means of screening the potential health hazards of products and of aqueous effluents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the applicability of combining chemical fractionation with acute toxicity testing as a method of identifying and quantitatively assessing those components of a synthetic fuel process effluent that are toxic to aquatic biota.

    A representative synthetic fuel effluent was fractionated into three organic fractions (acid, base, and neutral) and an inorganic fraction. The original effluent, the fractions, and a reconstituted effluent were tested for acute toxicity to Daphnia magna.

    The results demonstrated that (1) the neutral fraction was the most toxic; (2) the acid and neutral fractions contributed the most toxicity, 51.3 and 41.9 percent, respectively, to the toxicity of the whole effluent; (3) the toxicities of the four fractions were additive; and (4) the fractionation process did not significantly alter the toxicity of the effluent. Possible applications of this approach, as well as its limitations, are discussed.


    acute toxicity, additivity, aqueous effluent, chemical fractionation, coal, synthetic fuel, toxic interactions, solvent refined coal, toxic components, aquatic toxicology

    Author Information:

    Parkhurst, BR
    Research associate and research staff member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

    Gehrs, CW
    Research associate and research staff member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

    Rubin, IB
    Research associate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.26

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34882S

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