A Critical View on the Phenol Index as a Measure of Phenol Compounds Content in Waters. Application of a Biosensor
Phenol index is considered as an important indicator of water purity and quality. Usually phenol index is determined by a spectrophotometric method the calibration being based on phenol standards. Unfortunately, the absorptivities of different phenols compounds differ from each other. This leads to significant uncertainty concerning content of phenols in water. It is shown that the same shortage of the phenol index appears also if it is determined using an amperometric biosensor based on tyrosinase. The sensitivity of the biosensor response to four phenol compounds: phenol, catechol, 3-cresol and 4-chlorophenol was examined, as well as possible interactions between phenols, according to 24 factorial experiment. It was proved that individual phenols affect phenol index independently from each other, ie no significant interaction between phenols was detected. However, sensitivity of the biosensor to different phenols is not the same. Relationship between phenol index and concentrations of phenols in water is discussed.
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