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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

A rapid degradation of cumene was detected under aerobic test conditions. Cumene proved not to be degraded under methanogenic conditions.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

Two tests on biodegradation of cumene under aerobic and anaerobic conditions 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.

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.

Cumene can be classified as readily biodegradable under aerobic conditions.