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Environmental fate & pathways

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Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) is a strong organic acid with a pKa of around 0.43 so it will be under dissociated form in all environmental compartments. The possible reductive and oxidative degradation of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) has been investigated by photocatalytic experiments conducted with aqueous suspensions of semiconducting materials (TiO2, iron...) to determine if there are possible atmospheric reactions of these compounds. The rate of degradation of TFA was below 1% and the reaction with OH was too slow to measure. TFA proved to be a rather inert compound under practically all conditions. Moreover, the kinetics of the acqueous-phase reactions of the free radicals OH, Cl2- and SO4- with the halogenated acetates including TFA were investigated. TFA shows a low relative reactivity at the photolysis in aqueous solution. From these experiments it can be postulated that direct and indirect photolysis are not expected to be an important transformation process for TFA in water and air. No standard test is available to assess the decomposition or degradation of TFA by reaction with water. However the hydrolysis potential of TFA is expected to be very low based on its chemical structure, the preliminary results of non standard tests and the concentrations stability observed during analytical measurements of standard biodegradation and ecotox tests.