John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Determination of biodegradation rates for surfactants and a fatty alcohol in aerobic sediment using a simplified test system

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The development of specific regulatory persistence criteria and a growing need to conduct risk assessments in sediment has increased the need to better understand fate in this compartment. A simplified test approach was developed to assess the fate of chemicals in aerobic sediments and was used to evaluate the biodegradation of 14C‐labeled representative analogs of alcohol sulfate (AS), alcohol ethoxylate (AE), alcohol ethoxy sulfate (AES), linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and tetradecanol in two different sediments. The method provides kinetic data on primary and ultimate biodegradation in sediments as well as information on biodegradation pathways and metabolites. All the test materials exhibited extensive biodegradation in both sediments and disappearance of parent exhibited biphasic kinetics, described by a two‐compartment model, and mineralization was coupled to parent disappearance with little accumulation of metabolites. The first compartment decay rates ranged from 10.8 ‐ 17.1 d−1 for tetradecanol, 2.54 ‐ 24.8 d−1 for AS, 0.17 ‐ 0.75 d−1 for AE, 0.41 ‐ 0.71 d−1 for AES, and 0.26 ‐ 1.25 d−1 for LAS. These rates corresponded to half‐lives ranging from 0.041 to 4.35 d. This method's simplicity and focus on only sediment associated processes offers potential benefits over the current OECD 308 aerobic sediment‐water test. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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