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Calculating concentration from log Kow

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1. Consider a lake containing 39 ppb (parts per billion) of parathion, which has a log Kow = 3.8.

a. If a sample of lake water was mixed with octanol, what is the expected concentration of parathion in the octanol?

b. Assuming the body weight of a fish is 4% fat, what is the equilibrium concentration of parathion in the fish swimming in this lake?

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Solution Preview

Kow is also known as the octanol - water partition coefficient. It describes the distribution of a substance between two immiscible liquids, namely n-octanol and water. n-octanol is a nonpolar substance that represents the nonpolar or organic phase, while water represents the polar or aqueous phase. Kow shows the ratio of the concentration of the substance in a certain volume of n-octanol to its ...

Solution Summary

The concentration of a substance (parathion) can be determined from the log Kow (Octanol Water Partition Coefficient). The solution contains a detailed explanation of what log Kow is and how significant it is to environmental chemistry. The amount of parathion in an organism (such as fish) is also calculated based on its percent body fat.

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