Headline - Specialty Analytical Helps Define Biodegradation...

Specialty Analytical Helps Define Biodegradation Through Analysis of VFA (Volatile Fatty Acids)
If you want more information on VFA analysis or need a quote please contact the lab at 503-607-1331 or email us at info@specialtyanalytical.com.
Volatile fatty acids (VFAs), also called low molecular weight organic acids, are readily metabolized, highly oxidized, organic substrates. These organic acids can be used to monitor biodegradation. Their natural appearance at a location is unequivocal evidence that biodegradation, through oxidation, has occurred.
Also, these acids may be added to groundwater to act as a microbial substrate, particularly to induce methanogenic conditions. Some products that are used to aid in biodegradation, upon introduction to the groundwater, release lactic acid into the groundwater. This lactic acid is then metabolized, with the primary path being conversion of lactic acid to pyruvic acid and, in turn, the pyruvic acid to acetic acid. Two additional VFA's, butyric and propionic acid may also be produced.
Specialty Analytical has developed a proprietary HPLC method to detect these acids at the detection limits shown below.

Volatile Fatty Acids

Acetic Acid
Butyric Acid
Lactic Acid
Propionic Acid
Pyruvic Acid

Reporting Limit, mg/L

5
5
5
5
5