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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


SHERIDAN, Craig; PETERSEN, Jochen  and  ROHWER, Johann. On modifying the Arrhenius equation to compensate for temperature changes for reactions within biological systems. Water SA [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1, pp.149-151. ISSN 1816-7950.

In this communiqué, we discuss the use of the Arrhenius relationship to describe the temperature dependence of reacting biological systems, such as those treating wastewater. We also discuss the use of the modified Arrhenius function, and those instances where its applicability is limited. We show that the error when using the modified relationship is 7% at 30ºC, 15% at 40ºC and 25% at 50ºC. We conclude that whilst the modified relationship is acceptable at lower temperatures, in those applications where higher temperatures are reached (above 25ºC) the error with using the relationship may not be acceptable. We present an Arrhenius equation for use in biological systems, which is applicable for all temperature ranges.

Keywords : kinetics; biological processes; Arrhenius equation.

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