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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.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

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

As indicated in the hydrolysis study, ACH hydrolyses within a matter of minutes to acetone and HCN. For this endpoint, the behaviour of the chemical is observed over 28 days. In consequence, the properties of the hydrolysis products are relevant for ACH. Ready biodegradability of acetone is well established. This is a summary of the properties of HCN and its dissociated form, cyanide anion.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

(Following quotation taken with kind permission from ECETOC JACC report no. 53; Cyanides of Hydrogen, Sodium and Potassium, and Acetone Cyanohydrin (CAS No. 74-90-8, 143-33-9, 151-50-8 and 75-86-5)

"Depending on the environmental conditions, the fate of cyanide in natural waters can be very complex. The major degradation process is metabolism by micro-organisms. After oxidation to cyanate, abiotic hydrolysis to ammonia and carbon dioxide may contribute to cyanide degradation After complexation of cyanides with metal salts, adsorption to sediment may occur.

The fate of cyanides in soil is the result of a complex interaction of volatilisation, absorption, complexation and biodegradation, and depends on the balance of these processes in a particular soil environment. Cyanides can be metabolised by a wide variety of organisms, including bacteria, fungi, arthropods and plants following a number of different pathways.

Degradation of cyanides in sewage treatment plants depends on the availability of adapted organisms. While standard municipal treatment plants could tolerate and remove influent concentrations in the range of 3 to 8 μg CN-/l, fully adapted sludge may be able to degrade 100 to 150 mg CN-/l with a high degree of efficiency."

Remark: This is supported by one of the available studies on ACH which unfortunately lacks necessary detail to be suitable for this evaluation.