Molecular structure and biodegradation kinetics of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonates in sea water.
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DepartmentTecnologías del Medio Ambiente
SourceBiodegradation. 18 - 1, pp. 63 - 70. Springer, 2007
The present paper describes the results of the application of the biodegradation test proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) “Biodegradability in sea water” Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) 835.3160, to Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonate (LAS), the synthetic surfactant with the highest consumption volume on a world-wide basis. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been employed for the separation and quantification of the different homologues and isomers of the surfactant. Water from the Bay of Cádiz (South–West of the Iberian peninsula) has been used as test medium. The results indicate how both lag and t50 time shows a significant linear relationship with the length of the alkyl chain of the homologue; the effect of this is that the homologues of longer chain length not only begin to degrade first but also degrade at a faster rate. Regarding the isomeric composition, it is observed that as the percentage of biodegradation increases, there is an increase in the proportion of internal isomers, in comparison with the isomeric relationships of the original test substance