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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

Administrative data

biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Data is from peer reviewed journal

Data source

Reference Type:
R. Ekelund,. Granmo, K. Magnusson, M. Berggren and Bergman
Bibliographic source:
Environmental Pollution 79 (1993) 59-61

Materials and methods

Test guideline
according to guideline
other: refer below principle
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Biodegradation of 14C-labelled nonylphenol has been estimated by collection and quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide.
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Test material form:
liquid: viscous
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): p-nonylphenol
- Molecular formula (if other than submission substance): C15-H24-O
- Molecular weight (if other than submission substance): 220.354
- Smiles notation (if other than submission substance): c1(ccc(O)cc1)CCCCCCCCC
- InChl (if other than submission substance): 1S/C15H24O/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-14-10-12-15(16)13-11-14/h10-13,16H,2-9H2,1H3
- Substance type: Organic
- Physical state: viscous liquid

Study design

Oxygen conditions:
Inoculum or test system:
other: Sediment
Details on source and properties of surface water:
Details on collection (e.g. location: coastal area
sampling depth: below the halocline
Details on source and properties of sediment:
No data available
Details on inoculum:
No data available
Duration of test (contact time):
8 wk
Initial test substance concentrationopen allclose all
Initial conc.:
1 other: liter
Based on:
other: seawater
Initial conc.:
50 other: ml
Based on:
other: sediment
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation:
other: Quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide.
Details on study design:
- Composition of medium: 4-nonylphenol + seawater +sediment
- Additional substrate: No data available
- Solubilising agent (type and concentration if used): Acetone
- Test temperature: 1 1° ± 2°C
- pH: 3 with sulphuric acid
- pH adjusted: yes
- CEC (meq/100 g): No data available
- Aeration of dilution water: No data available
- Suspended solids concentration: No data available
- Continuous darkness: Incubation occurs in darkness
- Other:

- Culturing apparatus: Erlenmeyer flasks
- Number of culture flasks/concentration: 5 culture Erlenmeyer flasks
- Method used to create aerobic conditions: No data available
- Method used to create anaerobic conditions: No data available
- Measuring equipment: No data available
- Test performed in closed vessels due to significant volatility of test substance: No data available
- Test performed in open system: No data available
- Details of trap for CO2 and volatile organics if used: No data available
- Other: No data available

- Sampling frequency: one
- Sampling method: No data available
- Sterility check if applicable: No data available
- Sample storage before analysis: No data available
- Other: No data available

- Inoculum blank: No data available
- Abiotic sterile control: No data available
- Toxicity control: No data available
- Other: No data available

STATISTICAL METHODS: No data available
Reference substance
Reference substance:
not specified

Results and discussion

Mean total recoveryopen allclose all
other: water, material (mass) balance
% Recovery:
other: sediment, material (mass) balance
% Recovery:
% Degradation
% Degr.:
other: quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide
Sampling time:
8 wk
Remarks on result:
other: other details not known
Mineralization rate (in CO2):
46 other: %
Other kinetic parameters:
other: no data
Transformation products:
Details on transformation products:
From the flasks with sediment, 49% of the added activity was regained, 46% in the CO2 fraction and 3% in the organic solvent.
Evaporation of parent compound:
not specified
Volatile metabolites:
not specified
not specified

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Validity criteria
Validity criteria fulfilled:
not specified
The p-nonyl-phenol (104-40-5) was found to be 49% degradated in 8 weeks as 46% in the CO2 fraction and 3% in the organic solvent present.
Executive summary:

The biodegradation in water and sediment test were performed. 2 litres of Erlenmeyer flasks was taken and added 1 litre of seawater and 50 ml of sieved (1 mm) soft bottom sediment.

Half of the flasks containing seawater and sediment were bubbled with nitrogen gas for 15 min. An amount of 0.06 µCi14C-NP dissolved in acetone was added to each of a number of small glass plates and the solvent was evaporated at room temperature. One glass plate with14C-NP was added to each of the prepared E-flasks which were sealed and shaken vigorously. The N2-bubbled flasks were not shaken. Samples were taken after 16 weeks. Four replicates of each kind, and the14CO2formed, was collected and estimated. For this purpose the contents in the flasks were acidified to pH 3 with sulphuric acid, 1 ml of cod liver oil was added to prevent NP from evaporating and a jar containing 10 ml of 5 M KOH. The jar with KOH was then taken out and it was provided with a piece of ice and a smaller jar containing 2 ml of concentrated H2SO4.The KOH jar was placed in a bigger glass jar together with a scintillation vial 4 ml of Carbosorb. The glass jar was closed air-tight and shaken at 10°C for 4 h. To determine the recovery of ,14CO2, about 0.004 µCi of14C-carbonate were added. The exchange of14CO2was also determined from E-flasks which had been incubated for 8 weeks at +11°C in darkness after the addition of14C-carbonate.


The degradation rate in the presence of sediment and oxygen was high from the beginning and was half as rapid at very low concentrations of oxygen. The higher rate in the presence of sediment is due probably to the larger number of microorganisms, which increases the probability that bacterial cells able to degrade NP are present.


The p-nonyl-phenol (104-40-5) was found to be 49% degradated in 8 weeks as 46% in the CO2fraction and 3% in the organic solvent present.