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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Hydrolysis product methanol: readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria)

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable

Additional information

The parent compound methyl chloroformate (CAS 79-22-1) rapidly hydrolyses in contact with water and forms methanol (CAS 67-56-1). The biodegradation potential will, therefore, be assessed based on information available for the hydrolysis product methanol.

Methanol is readily biodegradable in freshwater based on the results of standard ready tests that show 71.5 – 95% removal after 5 and 20 days, respectively (Price et al. 1974; Wagner 1976). In marine water degradation rates were found between 69 - 97 % (Price et al. 1974). For further details on inoculum and duration of test methods see the Table below.

Table. The detailed information on duration and inoculum of test methods.

Test method

Inoculum

Result

Duration

Reference

Closed bottle test

Non-adapted domestic sewage

Readily biodegradable (95% BOD/ThOD)

20 days

Price et al., 1974

Respirometric test (BOD of THOD).

Non-adapted domestic sewage

Readily biodegradable (82.7% BOD/ThOD)

5 days

Wagner et al., 1976

Respirometric test (BOD of THOD).

Synthetic sewage

Readily biodegradable (71.5% BOD/ThOD)

5 days

Wagner et al., 1976

Closed bottle test

Marine water, raw wastewater, bacteria, growth factors

Readily biodegradable (97% BOD/ThOD)

20 days

Price et al., 1974

Biodegradability test

Activated sludge, industrial (adaptation not specified)

Readily biodegradable (> 90% TOC removal)

1 day

Matsui et al., 1988

 

Conclusion: Based on the available experimental information the hydrolysis product methanol is considered to be readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria).