P. de Voogt
- Mineralisation and primary biodegradation of aromatic organophosphorus flame retardants in activated sludge
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Halogen-free flame retardants (HFFRs), such as the aromatic organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), resorcinol bis(diphenylphosphate) (PBDPP) and bisphenol A bis(diphenylphosphate) (BPA-BDPP) have been proposed as potential replacements for brominated flame retardants in polymers and textiles. Although these OPFRs are already marketed, their environmental fate and effects are poorly characterised. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the mineralisation and primary biodegradation of these OPFRs by activated sludge. Mineralisation was monitored by measuring CO2 production by means of GC analysis, whereas primary biodegradation was monitored by LC-MS/MS analysis of the OPFRs and their potential metabolites. TPHP was biodegraded and mineralised most rapidly and achieved the requirement for ready biodegradability (60% of theoretical maximum mineralisation). Primary biodegradation was also rapid for PBDPP, but 60% mineralisation was not achieved within the time of the test, suggesting that transformation products of PBDPP may accumulate. Primary degradation of BPA-BDPP was very slow and very low CO2 production was also observed. Based on these results, TPHP and to a lesser extent PBDPP appear to be suitable replacements for the more environmentally persistent brominated flame retardants.
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