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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Sulfolane can be degraded within the PBT criteria of 40 days for surface waters at environmentally relevant temperatures between 8-10°C under aerobic conditions in non-standard studies. The studies form part of a weight of evidence assessment on the persistence of sulfolane which is appended to the IUCLID in Section 13 or Annex 3 of the CSR

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There are no standard water and sediment simulation studies for sulfolane. There are however non-standard studies that investigate the degradation of sulfolane in shake flasks and microcosm tests (Greene et al. 1998; Greene et al. 1999). These studies look at degradation using sediment (or soil) innocula from both contaminated or non-contaminated sources. The studies suggest that sulfolane can be degraded within the PBT criteria of 40 days for surface waters at environmentally relevant temperatures between 8-10°C under aerobic conditions. In shake flask tests complete degradation of sulfolane was found for uncontaminated sediments within approximately 27 days at 8°C (with nutrient enrichment) (Greene et al. 1998). In a similar study, Greene et al. (1999) report complete degradation of sulfolane after approximately 13 days at 28°C. A lag time is usually observed before sulfolane degradation begins and aerobic, nutrient rich conditions facilitate degradation (Greene et al. 1998; Greene et al. 1999). The studies form part of a weight of evidence assessment on the persistence of sulfolane which is appended to the CSR in Section 13.