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EC number: 203-466-5
CAS number: 107-13-1
Acrylonitrile is rapidly biodegradable in situations where an adapted
microbial population can be expected, such as in industrial biotreatment
plants. Analytical determination of acrylonitrile in influent and
effluent from a dedicated biotreatment plant principally handling
effluent from an acrylonitrile production facility with a production
capacity of approximately 100,000 tonnes per annum indicated a
concentration of 0.82 mg/l in the influent to the biotreatment plant and
a concentration of less than 0.05 mg/l in the effluent after treatment.
The analytical method used was purge trap gas chromatography (EPA method
SW-8260B) with a detection limit of 5 μg/l and a quantitation limit of
50 μg/l. On the basis of these results, the biotreatment plant removed
greater than 93.9% of the acrylonitrile load. Information from another
production facility indicated influent concentrations to the
biotreatment plant of 300-500 mg/l and effluent concentrations of
0.5-1.3 mg/l, giving a removal of greater than 99%, while data from a
fibre production facility could not detect acrylonitrile in the effluent
from their biotreatment plant at a detection limit of 0.25 mg/l
(influent level 35 mg/l), again a removal rate of greater than 99%. In
general, all data for emissions to surface water provided for this
report by companies with
biotreatment plants indicate similar removal rates.
Data were also provided for a US facility producing 172,000 tonnes/year
acrylonitrile production with a biotreatment plant with mean flow of 5
million gallons (US)/day (18,900 m3/day). In 1996 aqueous emissions of
acrylonitrile to the biotreatment plant were 28.5 tonnes (78.2 kg/day).
The average influent concentration to the biotreatment plant was 0.44
mg/l and acrylonitrile was not detectable in the effluent from the
biotreatment plant with an analytical limit of detection of 10 μg/l. On
this basis biodegradation in the wastewater treatment plant was >97.7%.
Higher acrylonitrile loadings to the biotreatment plant in 1993 of 39.7
tonnes (109 kg/day) still showed
no detectable acrylonitrile in the effluent.
One company reportedly has experience of intermittent operation of their
biotreatment plant, and reported that after reconstituting the biomass
with activated sludge from a municipal sewage plant, the industrial
biotreatment plant operates at 99% removal rates within a few days of
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