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EC number: 204-411-8
CAS number: 120-61-6
The atmospheric oxidation half-life of
dimethyl terephthalate was estimated using the AOPWIN v1.91QSAR model
available from the US EPA. The estimated atmospheric oxidation DT50 of
dimethyl terephthalate ranged from 18.64 days (default settings) to
27.96 days, estimated by applying the recommended northern hemisphere
settings that are considered relevant in a European context.
Since dimethyl terephthalate is readily
biodegradable, a formal study of the hydrolysis behaviour of DMT at
three pH values is not required and has not been performed.
Nevertheless, some insight is provided indirectly from other sources.
Hydrolysis of dimethyl terephthalate
is exploited as one of the commercial production methods of terephthalic
acid, but this process requires high temperatures (260 to 280 degrees C)
and pressures (4500 to 5500 kPa) and on this basis DMT may be considered
unlikely to hydrolyse rapidly under normal environmental conditions.
Further insight is provided by a study of the toxicity of DMT to
unicellular aquatic algae (BASF, 2010a). The concentration of dimethyl
terephthalate, initially dosed to non-sterile aqueous algal growth test
medium at 29.4 mg/L (measured), was reduced by 10% over the course of
72-h incubation at pH 8.1 and 23 degrees C. Although this small
reduction may have been the result of biodegradation, photolysis,
hydrolysis or any combination of these processes, these data (DT50 > 3
days) provide clear evidence that DMT is not prone to rapid hydrolysis
in the aquatic environment.
Similarly, no studies are required or have
been performed to investigate the phototransformation of dimethyl
terephthalate in water, however the results of the same algal study, in
which DMT remained stable following continuous bright illumination for
72 hours, suggest that dimethyl terephthalate is not prone to rapid
In summary dimethyl terephthalate is
generally resistant to physico-chemical degradation processes under the
range of conditions likely to be encountered in the aquatc and
terrestrial environment. Other data (see Point 5.2.1) show that dimethyl
terephthalate is readily biodegradable, with >60% mineralisation
(oxidation to CO2) occuring within 14 days. Biodegradation may therefore
be considered a more significant dissipation mechanism than
physico-chemical processes tor DMT in the environment.
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