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Environmental fate & pathways

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Succinic anhydride has been described as insoluble or very slightly soluble in water and is inherently unstable in aqueous media, rapidly hydrolyzing to form succinic acid. This behaviour was confirmed during an attempted hydrolysis study. Therefore the behaviour of the substance succinic acid was investigated.

The ready biodegradability of succinic acid was determined by measurement of the dissolved organi carbon content (DOC) at frequesnt intervals over a period of 28 days using OECD guideline 301E. The reference substance (sodium benzoate) was degraded by 95.9% within 14 days. A toxic control containing the reference substance and succinic acid indicated no inhibition of microbial activity due to the test substance.

The test substance, Succinic acid, with a nominal starting concentration of 20 mg DOC/L was degraded by 96.6 % after 28 days of incubation at a mean temperature of 21.6°C. The "10-d window" as defined by the guidelines started at approximately Day 1. 70 % degradation was exceeded at about Day 4.

According to the guideline, succinic acid is readily biodegradable. Consequently, it can be safely assumed that succinic anhydride is also readily biodegradable.

As succinic anhydride is readily biodegradable, no further biodegradation tests in soil or aquatic systems are necessary.