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The results from an OECD 301B CO2 evolution test (Clarke, 2008) showed that NExBTL renewable diesel was readily biodegradable with 82 % degradation within 28 days. Degradation of alkanes is a widespread phenomenon in nature, and numerous microorganisms, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, capable of utilizing these substrates as a carbon and energy source have been isolated and characterized (Prince et al, 2002 and 2003, Wentzel et al, 2007).

In mesocosm studies in the marine environment, the half-life n-pentadecane was found to be 4.3 d at 3-7 °C and 0.8 d at 20-22 °C in surface water (Mackay et al, 2006). In the same experiment, the half-life of n-heptadecane was 5 d at 3-7°C and 0.9 d at 20-22°C. The half-life of n-octadecane was 1.5 d in the Rhine surface water, and 23 d in marine surface water. Data on half-lives of alkanes in sediments or soils is lacking, however numerous studies have shown that alkanes are readily biodegradable in soils and sediments (Hoeppel RE et al, 1991, Hawle-Ambrosch E et al, 2007, Miethe D et al, 1994, Salanitro J, 2001, Sugiura K et al, 1996). Degradation in soils would be expected to be faster due to higher temperatures and higher oxygen status compared to sediments. This is supported by calculations with EUSES model, according to which degradation of NExBTL renewable diesel in water is

2x103times faster than in soil and 2x105times faster than in sediment (Table2.3.).

Table2.3.Degradation rates and half-lives of NExBTL renewable diesel in different environmental compartments estimated using EUSES.

Environmental compartment

Degradation rate (12 °C) d-1

t1/2(12 °C)


t1/2(20 °C)















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