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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Acrylic acid is readily biodegradable according to OECD criteria.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

The biodegradability of acrylic acid was investigated in several batch tests for ready biodegradability.

 

Huntington Research Center Ltd. conducted a closed bottle test according to OECD TG 301D and GLP regulations with acrylic acid at a test substance concentration of 3 mg/L. The inoculum used in this study was a supernatant obtained by filtering activated sludge from the aeration stage of a sewage treatment plant treating predominantly domestic sewage. Acrylic acid attained 81 % biodegradation (O2consumption) within 28 days. The pass level of 60 % was reached within 10 days of exceeding the 10 % level and, consequently, acrylic acid was readily biodegradable in this test (10-day window criterion fulfilled) (BAMM 1991).

 

In a DOC-Die-Away assay according to 92/69/EEC, part II, C.4-A and GLP acrylic acid was readily biodegradable reaching 95 % DOC removal within 9 days. The test was performed with a test substance concentration of 15.08 mg/L (DOC) and activated sludge from a domestic sewage treatment plant as inoculum (Huels AG 1995).

 

These test results are supported by a Modifed MITI Test (I) according to OECD TG 301C in which a biodegradation degree (O2consumption) of 68 % was determined after 14 days (JETOC/CITI 1992).

 

Based on the presented evidence, acrylic acid is considered to be readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions.

 

 

Acrylic acid is also susceptible to degradation by anaerobic microbes. In a screening study using 10 % sludge from a secondary digester as inoculum, acrylic acid was estimated to be degradable with > 75 % of theoretical methane being produced within 8 weeks of incubation (Shelton and Tiedje, 1984).