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Biodegradation. 2007 Feb;18(1):63-70. Epub 2006 Feb 9.

Biodegradation kinetics of linear alkylbenzene sulphonates in sea water.

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  • 1Area of Environmental Technologies, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Campus of Puerto Real, Polígono Río San Pedro s/n, 11500 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain. joseantonio.perales@uca.es


This article reports the primary biodegradation kinetics of linear alkylbenzene sulphonates (LAS) in sea water from the Bay of Cadiz (South West of the Iberian Peninsula). The authors used the biodegradation test guideline proposed by the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances of the United States Environmental Protection Agency; 835.3160 "Biodegradability in sea water" in its shake flask variant. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been employed for the analysis of the surfactant material. The surfactant shows a primary biodegradation kinetic in accordance with a logistic model, the kinetic parameters t (50) and lag time were calculated by means of a easy quantitative procedure introduced. Mean values of 6.15 +/- 0.45 and 6.67 +/- 0.6 days were obtained for t (50) and lag time, respectively. These results indicate that although LAS has a high primary biodegradation rate in sea water, it biodegrades slower than in similar tests conducted in river water.

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