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EC number: 204-411-8
CAS number: 120-61-6
In the type 1 test DMP was degraded without
a lag phase and >90% removal was observed within 8 days. Degradation
also occurred in the treatment amended with 0.5% (w/v) sodium azide, but
not in the autoclaved abiotic control. This confirmed that the removal
of DMP was the result of a biological rather than a physico-chemical
process and suggested either that the sodium azide added as a metabolic
inhibitor was present at too low a concentration to be effective or that
microbial enzymes present in the sludge remained active in spite of the inhibitor
Similarly rapid degradation of DMP was also
observed in the type 2 test and the findings were fitted to zero- and
first-order kinetic models. The first-order model gave the better fit
and the first-order rate constant and half-life determined for DMP in
anaerobic digester sludge were 8.9E-3 and 78 hours, respectively.
It should be noted that these findings
relate to analytical measurements of concentrations of the parent
molecule (the same method was applied to five other, related phthalate
compounds in the investigations reported by Ziogou et al.); they
therefore indicate primary biodegradation (a structural transformation
of the phthalate moiety) but not necessarily ultimate degradation -
complete mineralisation to the terminal products CO2 and CH4. Further
evidence of the ultimate anaerobic biodegradation potential of phthalic
acid (and hence DMP) is provided by Battersby and Wilson (1989) (see the
Dimethyl phthalate was biodegraded by >90%
in 8 days in a series of tests designed to simulate conditions in
anaerobic sludge digesters at STPs. The relatively small fraction of dimethyl
phthalate that may partition to wastewater treatment sludge solids
(either primary sludge and/or surplus activated sludge) may be expected
to be completely degraded before the digested product becomes available
for application to soil. Since dimethyl phthalate and dimethyl
terephthalate are isomers, dimethyl terephthalate may be expected to
undergo a similarly high degree of anaerobic biodegradation during
methanogenic sludge digestion. Dimethyl terephthalate is also likley to
be degraded anaerobically in water-logged soils or sediments.
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