The levels of phosphates, ph and the buffering capacity of different detergent powders sold at retail outlets in Kapsabet, Kenya

Anthoney Swamy T*, Terer Erick Kipngetich, Magut Hillary

Abstract


The aim of this research is to study the levels of phosphates, buffering capacity and the pH in order to provide sufficient literature for further study on the impact of phosphates on water and the environment. From the results, commercially available detergent brands Power boy had the highest level of phosphates with a concentration of 729.55mg/L, while Gental brand had a low phosphate level of 127.27mg/L. Sunlight spring had the highest pH value and Omo had the lowest compared to the eight sampled brands. In terms of the buffering capacity, Sunlight spring had the highest buffering capacity with Ushindi being the lowest buffer. High levels of phosphates in detergents have environmental impacts due to its ability to cause eutrophication of water bodies by phosphate enrichment. Buffering capacity is the molar quantity of hydrogen or hydroxide ions in relation to the water volume used. The buffering capacity arises from the use of sodium carbonate.  Alkalis raise the pH of the laundry wash water which assists in breaking up oily and acidic soil components. However since high pH can also damage fabrics. The pH of laundry detergents should carefully be controlled.

Keywords


Detergent Powders; Buffering Capacity; Phosphates; pH.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21746/ijbio.2013.10.001

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