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EC number: 201-557-4
CAS number: 84-74-2
Four of the six PAEs tested were degraded in undiluted sludge (Figure
1). Greater than 90% removal of dimethyl, diethyl, and di-n-butyl
phthalate occurred within 1 week while the rate of butyl benzyl
phthalate degradation was slightly slower. There was a general decrease
in the concentration of di-n-octyl phthalate during the 10-week
incubation; however, it was not possible to conclude that
degradation occurred. There was no evidence for the degradation of
bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Recoveries consistently greater than 100%
were probably due to an initial addition slightly in excess of 20 ppm.
Degradation of the six PAE's was also measured in 10% sludge. The
diluted incubation system was used to evaluate mineralization by
measuring methane production over background. This measurement was
prohibited in undiluted sludge due to high background methane
production. Degradation results for 10% sludge were consistent with the
undiluted sludge. Greater than 90% of dimethyl, diethyl, di-n-butyl, and
butyl benzyl phthalate were degraded within 40 days (Figure 2). Again,
no evidence for any significant degradation of di-n-octyl or
bis(2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate was obtained. Methane production mirrored
substrate disappearance (Figure 3). Percent theoretical methane
recoveries ranged from 76% to 103% (Table I) for those compounds that
were mineralized. Theoretical methane recoveries were 13% and 9% for
di-n-octyl and bis(Zethylhexy1) phthalate, respectively, confirming that
these compounds were not significantly degraded. There was no
significant loss of PAE's in autoclaved controls over the course of the
These data clearly demonstrated that dimethyl, diethyl, di-n-butyl, and
butyl benzyl phthalate were susceptible to anaerobic biodegradation and
that di-n-octyl and bis(2 -ethylhexyl) phthalate were persistent under
these conditions. Susceptility to degradation was apparently related to
size of the alkyl side chain with the larger C-8 groups being more
Dimethyl, diethyl, di-n-butyl, and butyl benzyl phthalate esters were
mineralized in anaerobic digester sludge. In undiluted sludge 20 gg/mL
of these phthalate esters was degraded within 1 week
Degradation was also studied in sludge diluted to 10% in an anaerobic
mineral salt medium to facilitate detection of intermediates and to
measure the quantity of methane produced. Degradation of dimethyl,
diethyl, di-n-butyl, and butyl benzyl phthalate was slower in the
diluted sludge, but 76-103% of the phthalate ester carbon expected as
CHI was found in this form within 30 days. This shows that both the
ester groups and the phthalate ring were mineralized.
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