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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
inherently biodegradable, not fulfilling specific criteria

Additional information

Substance is a hydrocarbon UVCB. Tests for biodegradation in water are designed for use with single chemical substances and results used for classification. For the purpose of risk assessment, this endpoint is characterized using quantitative structure property relationships for representative hydrocarbon structures that comprise the hydrocarbon blocks. The environmental risk of this substance is assessed using the PETRORISK model (see Product Library in PETRORISK spreadsheet attached to IUCLID Section 13).

Diesel / gas oil fractions are not readily biodegradable but are considered inherently biodegradable. In a report on environmental classification (Concawe 2001), it was concluded that, based on the known properties of hydrocarbons in the range C9 to C26,diesel/gas oil fractions are not readily biodegradable, but are regarded as being inherently biodegradable, since they can be degraded by micro-organisms.

In a further investigation (Concawe 2012) on PBT evaluation of petroleum substances CONCAWE developed QSAR estimates (BioHCwin) and reviewed existing data for individual hydrocarbons representative of the various ‘hydrocarbon blocks’ covering a range of petroleum substances. Using the Hydrocarbon Block method and data on biodegradation of representative hydrocarbons in the range C9 to C26, it is concluded that diesel / gas oil fractions do not meet the persistence criteria and can be regarded as being inherently biodegradable.

Concawe 2001:Environmental classification of petroleum substances - summary data and rational. Report No 01/54. Concawe Brussels.

Concawe 2012:An evaluation of the Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity of Petroleum Hydrocarbons (revised), May 2012