A novel respirometer for biological toxicity tests

Minquan Zhang, Huanqin Chen, Kwok Yin Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


A respirometer has been developed for microbial toxicity tests. The respirometer is based on luminescence quenching by molecular oxygen. The oxygen-sensing film consists of luminescent ruthenium complex adsorbed on amorphous fumed silica and immobilized inside silicone rubber. The luminescence intensity depends on the oxygen concentration of sample in contact with sensing film. The inhibition effect of heavy metals on the respiration rate of microorganisms can be evaluated by monitoring the luminescence intensity of the sensing film. The toxicity of Cu2+, Zn2+ , Ni2+ , Cr3+, Pb2+ and Hg2+ on activated sludge was tested using the respirometer. The results indicated that the proposed method was sensitive to the heavy metals tested in this experiment. It was feasible to use the respirometer for microbial toxicity tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997


  • Heavy metal
  • Luminescence quenching
  • Respirometer
  • Toxicity test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


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