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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

Administrative data

biodegradation in water: ready biodegradability
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
Start of the experimental part: 17.09.1997 - End of the experimental part: 16.10.1997
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: 1a : GLP guideline study

Data source

Reference Type:
study report
Report date:

Materials and methods

Test guidelineopen allclose all
according to guideline
OECD Guideline 301 F (Ready Biodegradability: Manometric Respirometry Test)
according to guideline
EU Method C.4-D (Determination of the "Ready" Biodegradability - Manometric Respirometry Test)
according to guideline
ISO DIS 9408 (Ultimate Aerobic Biodegradability - Method by Determining the Oxygen Demand in a Closed Respirometer)
GLP compliance:

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
α,α-Dimethyl-ethyl ester benzeneacetic acid
EC Number:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
C12 H16 O2
α,α-Dimethyl-ethyl ester benzeneacetic acid
Details on test material:
Substance name: Benzeneacetic acid, α,α-dimethyl-, ethyl ester
Chemical name: 2-Methyl-2-phenylpropionsäureethylester
Synonyms: EDMPA
Code: HOE CG 0530 0Y ZD00 0001
Expiry date: March 18, 2000
Purity: 99.8%

Study design

Oxygen conditions:
Inoculum or test system:
activated sludge, domestic, non-adapted
Details on inoculum:
Origin: Sewage treatment plant at Frankfurt am Main-Sindlingen
Preparation of the suspension: Sediment from the activated sludge was washed two times by centrifuging and resuspending in mineral medium.
Amount: 10 ml/l sludge suspension
Content of sludge sediment: 16 g/L
Content of suspended solids: 2.4 g/L (dry matter)
Content in the final test volume: 24 mg/L (dry matter)
Pretreatment: Aerated for 7 days
Duration of test (contact time):
28 d
Initial test substance concentrationopen allclose all
Initial conc.:
38.5 mg/L
Based on:
test mat.
Initial conc.:
38.75 mg/L
Based on:
test mat.
Initial conc.:
39.5 mg/L
Based on:
test mat.
Initial conc.:
40 mg/L
Based on:
test mat.
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation:
O2 consumption
Details on study design:
Incubation temperature: thermostatically controlled at 22°C ± 1°C. During the test period the temperature remained in the range between 21.8°C and 22.2°C.
Reaction vessel: closed system. 500 ml glass bottles with magnetic stirrers.
The evolved CO2 was trapped in an adsorption reagent in internal side chambers of the vessels. The second connected vessels were the electrolytic chambers for oxygen production and the third connected vessels contained capillaries for the electronic detection of the differences in gas pressure.

COD-content of the test substance: 2496.5 mg/g [O2] (calculated from the empirical formula)
Concentration of the test substance : 39.5 mg/l, 38.5 mg/l, 38.75 mg/l and 40.0 mg/l

COD-content in the test system : 98.61 mg/l [O2], 96.12 mg/l [O2], 96.74 mg/l [O2] and 99.86 mg/l [O2] (calculated)

Reference substance
Reference substance:
benzoic acid, sodium salt
pH=7.1, calculated COD= 3330.8 mg O2/L, concentration used: 99.92 mg/l

Results and discussion

% Degradation
% degradation (O2 consumption)
< 20
Sampling time:
28 d
Remarks on result:
other: Mean results in 4 parallel batches reached less than 20%.
Details on results:
Biodegradation in % of the COD within 28 days:
- Test A, COD/thOD=98.61 mgO2/l: 0%
- Test B, COD/thOD=96.12 mgO2/l: 0%
- Test C, COD/thOD=96.74 mgO2/l: 38%
- Test D, COD/thOD=99.86 mgO2/l: 0%
- Mean value = 10%

BOD5 / COD results

Results with reference substance:
The degradation of the reference substance caused an oxygen consumption of more than 60% of the theoretical maximum within 14 days.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Validity criteria fulfilled:
Interpretation of results:
under test conditions no biodegradation observed
The substance is not readily biodegradable under the conditions of this test. Significant biodegradation was not detected.