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biochemical oxygen demand

noun
1.
the oxygen required by aerobic organisms, as those in sewage, for metabolism.
Abbreviation: BOD.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for biochemical oxygen demand

biochemical oxygen demand

noun
1.
a measure of the organic pollution of water: the amount of oxygen, in mg per litre of water, absorbed by a sample kept at 20°C for five days BOD
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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biochemical oxygen demand in Medicine

biochemical oxygen demand n.
The amount of oxygen required by aerobic microorganisms to decompose the organic matter in a sample of water and used as a measure of the degree of water pollution. Also called biological oxygen demand.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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biochemical oxygen demand in Science
biochemical oxygen demand
  (bī'ō-kěm'ĭ-kəl)   
The amount of oxygen required by aerobic microorganisms to decompose the organic matter in a sample of water, such as one polluted by sewage. It is used as a measure of the degree of water pollution.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for biochemical oxygen demand

BOD

the amount of oxygen used by microorganisms in the process of breaking down organic matter in water. The more organic matter there is (e.g., in sewage), the greater the number of microbes. The more microbes there are, the greater the need of oxygen to support them; consequently, less oxygen is available for higher animals such as fishes. The BOD is therefore a reliable gauge of the organic pollution of a body of water. One of the main reasons for treating sewage or waste water prior to its return to a water resource is to lower its BOD-i.e., reduce its need of oxygen and thereby lessen its demand from the streams or rivers into which it is released.

Learn more about BOD with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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