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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

The primary metabolites of o-cresol by phenol-adapted activated sludge were 3 -methylcatechol, 4 -methylresorcinol and methylhydroquinone.

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Although readily biodegradable, the o-cresol metabolic pathway was examined by Masunaga (1986) using a phenol-adapted activated sludge. About 90% of the o-cresol is degraded after 24 hours and the metabolites also diminish significantly with time. The primary metabolic step is the ring-hydroxylation yielding isomers of dihydroxy-toluene (3-methyl-catechol, 4-methyl-resorcinol, methylhydroquinone). Secondary degradation products are formed either by further hydroxylation yielding trihydroxy and tetrahydroxy-toluenes or by cleavage of the aromatic ring system.

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