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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

Administrative data

biodegradation in water: ready biodegradability
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Data is from peer reviewed journal

Data source

Reference Type:
R. Ekelund,. Granmo, K. Magnusson, M. Berggren and Bergman
Bibliographic source:
Environmental Pollution 79 (1993) 59-61

Materials and methods

Test guideline
according to guideline
other: refer below principle
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Biodegradation of 14C-labelled nonylphenol has been estimated by collection and quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide.
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Test material form:
liquid: viscous
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): p-nonylphenol
- Molecular formula (if other than submission substance): C15-H24-O
- Molecular weight (if other than submission substance): 220.354
- Smiles notation (if other than submission substance): c1(ccc(O)cc1)CCCCCCCCC
- InChl (if other than submission substance): 1S/C15H24O/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-14-10-12-15(16)13-11-14/h10-13,16H,2-9H2,1H3
- Substance type: Organic
- Physical state: viscous liquid

Study design

Oxygen conditions:
Inoculum or test system:
other: Sea water
Details on inoculum:
- Source of inoculum/activated sludge: seawater used was collected below the halocline in a less polluted coastal
- Laboratory culture: No data available
- Method of cultivation: No data available
- Storage conditions: No data available
- Storage length: No data available
- Preparation of inoculum for exposure: No data available
- Pretreatment: No data available
- Concentration of sludge: No data available
- Initial cell/biomass concentration: No data available
- Water filtered: No data available
- Type and size of filter used, if any: No data available
Duration of test (contact time):
16 wk
Initial test substance concentration
Initial conc.:
1 other: liter
Based on:
other: seawater
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation
Parameter followed for biodegradation estimation:
other: Quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide.
Details on study design:
- Composition of medium: 4-nonylphenol + seawater
- Additional substrate: No data available
- Solubilising agent (type and concentration if used): Acetone
- Test temperature: 1 1° + 2°C
- pH: 3 with sulphuric acid
- pH adjusted: yes
- CEC (meq/100 g): No data available
- Aeration of dilution water: No data available
- Suspended solids concentration: No data available
- Continuous darkness: Incubation occurs in darkness
- Other:

- Culturing apparatus: Erlenmeyer flasks
- Number of culture flasks/concentration: 5 culture Erlenmeyer flasks
- Method used to create aerobic conditions: No data available
- Method used to create anaerobic conditions: No data available
- Measuring equipment: No data available
- Test performed in closed vessels due to significant volatility of test substance: No data available
- Test performed in open system: No data available
- Details of trap for CO2 and volatile organics if used: No data available
- Other: No data available

- Sampling frequency: one
- Sampling method: No data available
- Sterility check if applicable: No data available
- Sample storage before analysis: No data available
- Other:

- Inoculum blank: No data available
- Abiotic sterile control: No data available
- Toxicity control: No data available
- Other: No data available

STATISTICAL METHODS: No data available
Reference substance
Reference substance:
not specified

Results and discussion

Preliminary study:
No data available
Test performance:
No data available
% Degradation
other: quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide.
Sampling time:
58 d

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Validity criteria fulfilled:
not specified
Interpretation of results:
readily biodegradable
The p-nonyl-phenol (104-40-5) was found to be 50 % degradated in 58 days by estimation of labelled carbon dioxide.
Executive summary:

The biodegradation test was performed in seawater. 2 litres of Erlenmeyer flasks was added only 1 litre of seawater. The seawater was collected below the halocline in a less polluted coastal area. Four flasks containing seawater were supplied with 5.45 ml of concentrated formalin and 0.06 µCi14C-NP dissolved in acetone was added to each of a number of small glass plates and the solvent was evaporated at room temperature. One glass plate with14C-NP was added to each of the prepared E-flasks which were sealed and shaken vigorously. Incubation occurred at 11°±2°C in darkness with shaking twice a week for one minute. Samples were taken after 16 weeks. Four replicates of each kind, and the14CO2formed, was collected and estimated. For this purpose the contents in the flasks were acidified to pH 3 with sulphuric acid, 1 ml of cod liver oil was added to prevent NP from evap-orating and a jar containing 3.5 ml of 2-5 M KOH was hung in each flask which was sealed and shaken for 24 h at room temperature. The jar with KOH was then taken out and it was provided with a piece of ice and a smaller jar containing 0.7 ml of 6 M H2SO4The KOH jar was placed in a bigger glass jar together with a scintillation vial containing 1.5 ml. Then

15 ml of Permaflour V (Packard) were added to each scintillation vial and the samples were scintillation counted and corrected for quenching using an H-number quench monitor. To determine the recovery of ,14CO2, about 0.004 µCi of14C-carbonate were added to each of five

E-flasks containing 1 litre of seawater.

Biodegradation of14C-labelled nonylphenol at the concentration 11 µg litre-1in seawater has been estimated by collection and quantification of the formed labelled carbon dioxide. Initially degradation was very slow but when the microorganisms had become adapted, after four weeks at 11°C, the degradation rate increased rapidly and after 58 days about 50% of 14C from NP was found in the CO2fraction.


Therefore, it was interpreted that p-nonyl-phenol (104-40-5) was found to be 50 % degradated in 58 days by estimation of labelled carbon dioxide.