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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

anaerobic degradation: 83-91 % conversion after 3 days to methane, CO2 and water

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Methanol is readily biodegradable in freshwater and thus no additional information on degradation and simulation tests in soil or sediments is required according to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH). However, additional data on biodegradation in soil and sediments are available and presented here for the sake of completeness.

Oremland et al. (1982) studied the degradation of methanol in anaerobic sediments collected from the upper 15 cm of a salt marsh in San Francisco Bay. The sediments were highly reduced and contained methane and hydrogen sulphide. The sediments were homogenised anaerobically with San Francisco Bay water and 310-340 µmol methanol/flask was added to make up the inocula. After 3 days incubation, 83-91% conversion of the methanol had occurred. The products of methanol degradation were methane, CO2 and water. Boudemagh et al. (2006) showed that the time needed to eliminate 50% Methanol by various inocula is =< 8 hours.