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Environmental fate & pathways

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Two tests on biodegradation of cumene under aerobic and anaerobic conditions in water are available.

Under aerobic conditions a rapid degradation of cumene was detected following the guideline for BOD (biological oxygen demand) measurement over a period of 20 days. A degradation rate of > 60 % was determined within 10 days.

Cumene can be classified as readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions.

The degradation potential under methanogenic conditions was examined with an anaerobic digesting sludge. Degradation was assessed in terms of net total gas (CH4 plus CO2) produced, expressed as a percentage of the theoretical production (ThGP). Cumene proved not to be degraded. After an incubation period of 60 days at 35 °C 2 ± 2.8 % degradation was determined.

 

The biodegradation of cumene was analysed in a water-sediment study. The first-order mineralization rate constant at the test concentration of 2.5 mg/L was calculated to be 0.02 d-1 (DT50 35 d).

 

No explicit information about biodegradation of cumene in soil available. Supporting information reveal that some types of soil bacteria are capable to degrade cumene. Therefore, determination of biodegradability in soil is not regarded necessary.