Biochemical Oxygen Demand

Don’t you often think, how do fishes and other aquatic animals breathe underwater?

Yes, water bodies do contain a small amount of dissolved oxygen, which is essential for both fishes and other aquatic organisms to undergo aerobic respiration.

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) generally describes how much oxygen is required to break down organic matter in water.

What is BOD?

BOD – Biochemical Oxygen Demand is applied to determine the aerobic destructibility of organic substances.

BOD is the biological method used for the measurement of the total amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) used by microbes in the biological process of metabolizing organic molecules present in water.

The total amount of oxygen gas present in the water is called the dissolved oxygen (DO). The non-compound oxygen present in water may either be a by-product of the photosynthesis of the aquatic plants or the dissolved atmospheric oxygen gas.

Also Read: Photosynthesis in Plants

In some water bodies, organic matter is a great source of oxygen gas. These organic matters include sewage and other pollutants present in the water bodies. The greater the BOD, lower is the dissolved oxygen available for the aerobic animals such as fishes and other aquatic ecosystems.

The BOD is accordingly a reliable measure of the organic pollution of water bodies. The main reason for treating wastewater prior to its discharge into a water resource is to reduce its BOD level (the demand for oxygen).

Importance of BOD – Biochemical oxygen demand

  1. BOD measures the amount of oxygen consumed by microorganisms for the process of decomposition of the organic matters in the water bodies.
  2. It indicates the amount of organic pollution present in an aquatic ecosystem.
  3. BOD also measures the chemical oxidation (COD) of inorganic matter.
  4. BOD is also used in sewage treatment or wastewater treatment to destroy and decay organic wastes through the aerobic organisms.
  5. It determines the amount of organic matter present in soils, sewages, sediment, garbage, sludge, etc.
  6. The biochemical oxygen demand also determines the rate of respiration in living beings.
  7. BOD is also used in the medicinal & pharmaceutical industries to test the oxygen consumption of cell cultures.

Also Read: Sewage Treatment

This article concludes the introduction to biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and its importance.

To know more about biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), different BOD levels, BOD level in drinking water, other related topics and important questions, keep visiting our website at BYJU’S Biology.

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