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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Additional information on environmental fate and behaviour

Administrative data

additional information on environmental fate and behaviour
Type of information:
migrated information: read-across based on grouping of substances (category approach)
Adequacy of study:
key study
4 (not assignable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: see 'Remark'
The Wentzel et al (2007) article is a review article and therefore cannot be given a reliability rating. The Wongsa et al. (2004) article is well documented and may be eligible for a reliability of 2, but for the purposes of this section has been given a reliability of 4.

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
Bacterial metabolism of long-chain n-alkanes.
Wentzel, A., Ellingsen, T.E., Kotlar, H.-K., Zotchev, S.B., and Throne-Holt, M.
Bibliographic source:
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 76:1209-1221.
Reference Type:
Isolation and characterization of novel strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens possessing high efficiency to degrade gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, and lubricating oil.
Wongsa, P., Tanaka, M., Ueno, A., Hasanuzzaman, M., Yumoto, I. and Okuyama, H.
Bibliographic source:
Current Microbiology 49:415-422.

Materials and methods

Test guideline
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Studies determined the degradation of long chain n-alkanes by bacteria.
GLP compliance:

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
long-chain n-alkanes
long-chain n-alkanes

Results and discussion

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Degradation of alkanes is a widespread phenomenon in nature, and numerous microorganisms capable of using these substrates as a carbon and energy source have been isolated and characterized. Such microorganisms are capable of degrading alkanes and converting them to easily metabolizable substrates. Wentzel et al. (2007) is a review paper that summarizes recent advances in the understanding of bacterial metabolism of long-chain n-alkanes. Wongsa et al. (2004) is one example of several technical papers that show degradation of long chain n-alkanes in complex mixtures like gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil and lubricating oil. In the most described cases, the n-alkane is oxidized to the corresponding primary alcohol by substrate-specific terminal monooxygenases/hydroxylases. Subterminal oxidation has also been described both for long-chain n-alkane substrates up to C16 and for n-alkanes of shorter chain lengths. After the initial oxidation of the n-alkane, the corresponding alcohol is subsequently oxidized further by alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase to the corresponding aldehyde and carboxylic acids, respectively. The carboxylic acid then serves as a substrate for acyl-CoA synthetase, and the resulting acyl-COA enter the β-oxidation pathway. Rates of these reactions vary depending on the composition of the mixtures and other factors. Wongsa et al. (2004) found that about 90-95% of the total diesel oil and kerosene added to mineral salts media as a sole carbon source could be degraded by one strain of bacteria within 2 and 3 weeks, respectively. The same amount of lubricating oil was 60% degraded within 2 weeks. Another strain of bacteria was even more efficient in degrading aromatic compounds in gasoline. This second strain could also degrade kerosene, diesel and lubricating oil with a capacity of 50-60%.