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EC number: 202-716-0
CAS number: 98-95-3
Aerobic soil micro-organisms have been
tested for their potency to degrade nitrobenzene during incubation in
soil columns (Kincannon and Lin, 1985). Nitrobenzene as a component of
different types of waste sludge was given to different types of soil.
The origin and composition of these different types of sludge were not
further specified. A column filled with sandy loam soil was loaded with
DAF sludge (an industrial waste not further described). The nitrobenzene
concentration dropped from 2,400 mg/kg soil to 800 mg/kg within 97 days
(67% elimination). Another sandy loam soil column was loaded with slop
oil sludge and the nitrobenzene concentration dropped by 98% within 76
days (from 2,746 mg/kg to 54 mg/kg). In silt loam soil, loaded with wood
preserving sludge the nitrobenzene degradation was 87% (from 393 mg/kg
to 54 mg/kg) within 78 days and started at day 151. Nitrobenzene was
monitored by gas chromatography of extracts of treated soils. In a
sterilised control assay a nitrobenzene concentration of 122 mg/kg soil
dropped to 19 mg/kg within 21 days (84% removal). It can be assumed that
the loss is due to volatilisation.
To simulate a rapid infiltration land
treatment system for wastewater microcosms were used (Piwoni et al.,
1986). The microcosms consisted of 1.5 metre soil columns filled with a
fine sandy soil with sampling ports at various depths. The top of the
column was closed in a ‘green house’ and air was replaced every 8
minutes. Nitrobenzene containing wastewater was added to the soil during
a 12 week acclimatisation period. After that the columns received
wastewater containing nitrobenzene at a concentration of 271 μg/litre
each day (every 4 hours at a dosage of 4.4 ± 0.17 cm3/day). The water
samples were analysed by extraction and GC- analysis. As a result, only
less than 0.1% of the nitrobenzene volatilised from the column and less
than 0.1% were found in the final effluent which means that more than
99.9% were degraded. As only primarily biodegradation was determined in
adapted soil samples, results cannot be taken for the derivations of
kinetic biodegradation rates in soil.
There are contradictory results on the
volatilisation behaviour and biodegradability of nitrobenzene in soil.
In one study the elimination of nitrobenzene was due to volatilisation
and the other study shows that more than 99% of the nitrobenzene was
primarily degraded and almost no nitrobenzene evaporated. No explanation
for this inconsistency can be given.
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