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Biodegradability of fluorinated surfactants under aerobic and anaerobic conditions

: Remde, A.; Debus, R.


Chemosphere 32 (1996), Nr.8, S.1563-1574
ISSN: 0045-6535
ISSN: 0366-7111
Fraunhofer IUCT ( IME) ()
aerobic; anaerobic condition; biodegradability; fluorinated surfactant

The "ready biodegradability" of three fluorinated surfactants was determined under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Surfactant 1, a solution of a fluorinated surfactant in water, was easily degradable under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions during the incubation periods of 28 and 60 days, respectively. Surfactant 2, a nonionic fluorinated surfactant, was degraded under aerobic conditions in a range of 35 - 77 per cent during 28 days depending on the source of activated sludge. Aerobic degradation was inhibited by the nitrification-inhibitor dicyandiamide indicating that ammonium oxidizing bacteria may play a role in degradation of surfactant 2. Under anaerobic conditions surfactant 2 was not degraded. Surfactant 3, an anionic fluorinated surfactant, was degraded neither under aerobic nor under anaerobic conditions. Under anaerobic conditions, surfactant 3 inhibited the methane production rate of sludge from a digester. The EC50, i.e. the concentration of surfactant 3 that inhibite d 50 per cent of methanogenesis, was determined at 160 mg/l.