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Environmental fate & pathways

Hydrolysis

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Hydrolysis is a reaction in which a water molecule or hydroxide ion substitutes for another atom or group of atoms present in a chemical resulting in a structural change of that chemical. Potentially hydrolyzable groups include alkyl halides, amides, carbamates, carboxylic acid esters and lactones, epoxides, phosphate esters, and sulfonic acid esters (Neely and Blau, 1985). The lack of a suitable leaving group renders compounds resistant to hydrolysis.

 

The chemical constituents that comprise the other lubricant base oils category consist entirely of carbon and hydrogen and do not contain hydrolyzable groups. As such, they have a very low potential to hydrolyze. Therefore, this degradative process will not contribute to their removal from the environment.

The available data and available weight of evidence demonstrate that other lubricant base oils are resistant to hydrolysis because they lack a functional group that is hydrolytically reactive. Therefore, this fate process will not contribute to a measurable degradative loss of these substances from the environment. Further testing is not required under Annex XI, section 1.2.