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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

In anaerobic, static sediment/water microcosms, ETBE does not biodegrade.

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In an anaerobic, static sediment/water microcosm study by Mormile et al. (1994), ETBE was only slowly degraded under all conditions tested. After 244 days of incubation in static sediment/water microcosms no biodegradation was observed. Sediments were collected from sites chronically contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. Inoculum was indigenous sedimentary microorganisms occurring under anoxic/anaerobic subsurface conditions. Both sulphate reducing and nitrate reducing metabolic pathways were explored using appropriate co-incubation factors. Metabolism under methanogenic conditions was also assessed.

After 168 days of incubation, ETBE did not biodegrade (0%) under the test conditions in anaerobic, sediment/water test system (Sulflita et al., 1993). No significant mineralisation was observed under strictly anaerobic conditions.