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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria).

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

The available experimental data on the biodegradation potential of morpholine (CAS 110-91-8) show that the substance is readily biodegradable in 28 d but has a relatively long lag phase:

Biodegradation of morpholine was determined to be 93% (DOC removal) after 28 days in a Modified OECD Screening test (OECD 301E; BASF AG, 1990a, report no. 1901337). The inoculum was the effluent of a laboratory treatment plant receiving municipal sewage. The lag phase was 15 days. The 10-day window was kept. The substance was assessed to be readily biodegradable according to OECD criteria. This result was selected as key data.


In a Zahn-Wellens test according to OECD 302B, morpholine was easily eliminated from water (BASF AG, 1990b, report no. 1901337). The substance was eliminated to 92% after 28 days (DOC removal). The inoculum was activated sludge from a municpal wastewater treatment plant. The lag phase was relatively long (21 days). The substance did not adsorb to the activate sludge (0% after 3 h). This result was selected as supporting study.


In conclusion, the substance is assessed to be readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria).