The biodegradability of sodium alkylpoly(oxyalkylene)sulfates was studied under aerobic conditions by oxygen consumption, total organic corbon (TOC) and methylene blue active substance (MBAS) measurements. MBAS of linear alkylpoly(oxyalkylene)sulfates with propylene oxide (APS) or ethylene oxide (AES) disappeared within 5 days, whereas AES with branched alkyl chains were degraded less than linear AES. APS with propylene oxide from 1 to 3 mol showed BOD/ThOD values of more than 40% after 6 days. Therefore, these surfactants are considered to be readily biodegradable. In comparison to the biodegradability of APS and AES, the existence of propylene oxide groups resulted in a slight decreasing in oxygen consumption and TOC removal. Linear APS with PO of 1~3 mol were degraded according to Swisher's distance principle up to a C 16 alkyl chain length. That is, increasing distance principle up to a C 16 alkyl chain length. That is, increasing distance between sulfate and chain end increased the rate of biodegradation of these surfactants. Furthermore, from the biodegradation test of 35 S-C 12 E 3 S, it is suggested that the initial step of biodegradation is attack on the terminal methyl group.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 1982
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