Harnessing Light: The Power of Spectrophotometry in Industrial Wastewater Monitoring

Posted by Jim Penny on Friday, May 17, 2024

plant operator with laptop monitoring effluent

Real time monitoring equipment provides unique and immediate insight into industrial processes that can solve an array of environmental and process optimization challenges that traditional wastewater monitoring methods cannot address.

Do you have high strength wastewater? Are you challenged with process control of pollutants such as total suspended solids (TSS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or chemical oxygen demand (COD)? Do you find it difficult to optimize your system when you have to wait hours or even weeks to receive analytical results? If so, real time monitoring instrumentation could be an excellent addition to your management and compliance toolkit.

The technology uses spectrophotometers to measure the pollutants in wastewater. Spectrophotometry is a powerful analytical technique which measures the concentration of specific substances in water samples. The method operates using the Beer-Lambert Law. Light of a specific wavelength is passed across a sample and the transmittance is measured; the amount of the light that is absorbed represents the concentration of the substance in the water. By analyzing the absorption of a spectrum, or a combination of specific wavelengths, a spectrophotometer can identify the concentration of various pollutants that normally take days of lab time to measure using traditional methods.

The primary advantage of the equipment is the ability to receive immediate feedback on industrial wastewater stream composition. Rapid detection of BOD, COD and TSS spikes allows operators to quickly correct, change, and optimize processes - to control chemical dosing and aeration, divert noncompliant flows, alert operators to factory spills and otherwise inform their decision making.

Interested in learning more? Our team has experience working with pulp and paper mills, food processing, and other manufacturers with high inputs of BOD, TSS, FOG and much more. Let us help you leverage technology to help you make more informed decisions in the management of your industrial wastewater.

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Jim Penny

industrial engineering designer

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Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing

Tagged: Wastewater

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