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Enzymes are Able to Purify Water
before March 9, 2006


The nature desperately fights the press of civilization. Despite human contamination of seas, lakes, rivers, forests, soil and air, the nature defends itself, using its wonderful self-regeneration ability. However self-regeneration works until the damaging effect becomes extremely high. Self-purification of river and lake water is performed by its inhabitants – plants, animals and microorganisms. They can’t cope with all contaminating agents, e.g. some pesticides and heavy metals. But decomposition of biogenous organic compounds is quite effective: it’s the work for enzymes, excreted to water by all its inhabitants, mainly microorganisms. Proteases split protein molecules and amylases mince high molecular weight carbohydrates. It’s enzyme activity, which is the basis for water rapid analysis, suggested by Russian scientists from RAS Marine Science Institute.

Analysis technique is simple: one takes a water sample, where he adds biopolymers (proteins or polysaccharides) to be split by the enzymes thus proving the latter work. Of course you have to add some enzyme, because a tube is not an ecosystem, producing enzymes 24/7. Then reaction products are measured after a while. These products immediately show whether enzymes have done their work in this water sample or not. The point is that most inorganic water contaminators decelerate enzyme activity or make it absolutely impossible. Thus, when water contains too much inorganic components, it loses its ability to decompose organic matter.

Such test was performed on great Siberian rivers Ob’, Enisey and Tom’, and Altay Region reservoirs – Katun’ river, Teletskoe lake and Korbu waterfall. The test showed that Ob’ and Enisey entries have the lowest proteolytic activity - protein cleavage activity. The situation was much better in the upstream of these rivers, where there are less industrial wastes in water. The same tendency was observed in other rivers. Activity of carbohydrate-cleaving enzymes was low in all water reservoirs. These enzymes seem to be more sensible to external contamination. River Katun’ turned to have most favorable conditions for enzymatic activity. Teletskoe lake water was of medium quality; its self-purification depended on the sample site. Green algae and some higher plants stimulated enzymatic activity. The worst quality showed Korbu waterfall water. Amylase activity was lower than protease activity almost in all water reservoirs. Lakes and rives appear to cope with protein wastes of some food producing plant easier than with pulp-and-paper wastes.

New analysis technique requires little time and can be performed in any laboratory.

Tags: Russian technologies     

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