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Chemosphere. 2006 Jul;64(5):803-9. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Comparison of biodegradation of poly(ethylene glycol)s and poly(propylene glycol)s.

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1
Poznan University of Technology, Institute of Chemistry, ul. Piotrowo 3, 60-965 Poznan, Poland.

Abstract

The biodegradation of poly(ethylene glycol)s (PEGs) and poly(propylene glycol)s (PPGs), both being major by-products of non-ionic surfactants biodegradation, was studied under the conditions of the River Water Die-Away Test. PEGs were isolated from a water matrix using solid-phase extraction with graphitized carbon black sorbent, then derivatized with phenyl isocyanate and determined by HPLC with UV detection. PPGs were isolated from a water matrix by liquid-liquid extraction with chloroform, then derivatized with naphthyl isocyanate and determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The primary biodegradation of both PEGs and PPGs reached approximately 99% during the test. The tests show different biodegradation pathways of PEG and PPG. During PEG biodegradation, their chains are shortened leading to the formation of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. During PPG biodegradation, no short-chained biodegradation products were found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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