Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Partial Order in Environmental Chemistry

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 3 ]


Rainer Bruggemann* and Lars Carlsen   Pages 257 - 269 ( 13 )


Background: The theory of partial order is a branch of Discrete Mathematics and is often seen as pretty esoteric. However, depending on a suitable definition of an order relation, partial order theory has some statistical flavor. Here we introduce the application of partial order for environmental chemistry.

Objective: We showed that partial order is an instrument, which at the same time, has both data exploration - and evaluation potency.

Methods: The partial order theory was applied in this study. It depends on four indicators which describe the environmental hazards of chemicals.

Results: Nineteen organic chemicals were found within a monitoring study in the German river Main and were taken as an exemplary case. The results indicated that chemicals can have a high risk on the environment, however, the type of risk is different and should not conceptually merge into a single quantity.

Conclusion: Partial order theory is of help to define different regulations and environmental management plans.


Partial order, decision making, environmental chemicals, descriptors of chemicals behavior, indicators, processoriented mathematical models, antichain matrix, graph-theoretical structure.


Department of Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Ecohydrology, Berlin, Awareness Center, Linkøpingvej 35, Trekroner, DK-4000 Roskilde

Graphical Abstract:

Read Full-Text article