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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Propionic acid is readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria).

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

The evaluation of the biodegradability of propionic acid can be derived from different studies.

Biodegradation of Propionic acid was evaluated using a standard manometric technique (Warburg Respirometer). The biodegradation after 30 days was 74% (BOD of ThOD) [Dias & Alexander, 1971]. Malaney & Gerhold (1969) used the Warburg Respirometer technique to assess the aerobic biodegradation of propionic acid over a 24-hour interval with activated sludge solids. Biodegradation after 24 hours was 40.4% (BOD of ThOD). Anaerobic biodegradation of propionic acid was evaluated in an acetate-enriched culture originated from domestic sewage sludge and added to Hungate serum bottles. There was 100% biodegradation measured after 20 days [Chou & al., 1978].

Summarizing all available data it can be concluded that propionic acid is readily biodegraded under aerobic and anaerobic conditions [OECD SIDS, 2007].