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Environmental fate & pathways

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A number of studies have been reported on the biodegradation of tetrachloroethylene. The substance was not biodegraded under the stringent conditions of the modified shake flask closed bottle biodegradation test after 21 days (Mudder, 1982). However, data from simulation and screening tests demonstrated that tetrachloroethylene degrades well under specific anaerobic conditions. More than 99% of the tetrachloroethylene was dechlorinated in less than 200 days of incubation under either sulfate-reducing or methanogenic conditions in soil (Pavlostathis SG and Zhuang P, 1993). The conditions and inocula used appear to be important. Tetrachloroethylene does not appear to undergo aerobic biodegradation.