NP1EC degradation pathways under oxic and microxic conditions

John Montgomery-Brown, Yongmei Li, Wang Hsien Ding, Gary M. Mong, James A. Campbell, Martin Reinhard

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14 Scopus citations


The degradation pathway of nonylphenol ethoxyacetic acid (NP1EC) and the conditions favoring dicarboxylated alklyphenol ethoxyacetic acid (CAnP1EC; where n = the number of aliphatic carbon atoms) formation were studied in oxic microcosms constructed with organic carbon-poor soil from the Mesa soil aquifer treatment (SAT) facility (Arizona) and pristine organic carbon-rich sediments from Coyote Creek (California). Results suggest that the availability of dissolved oxygen determines the dominant biodegradation pathway; ether cleavage and the formation of NP is favored by oxic conditions, while alkyl chain oxidation and the formation of CAP1ECs is favored under microxic conditions. In the Mesa microcosms, para-NP1EC was transformed to para-nonylphenol (NP) before being rapidly transformed to nonyl alcohols via ipso-hydroxylation. In the Coyote Creek microcosms, large quantities of CAP1ECs were observed. Initially, CA8P 1ECs were the dominant metabolites, but as biodegradation continued, CA6P1ECs became the dominant metabolites. Compared to the CA8P1ECs, the number of CA6P1ECs peaks observed was small (<6) even though their concentrations were high. Several novel metabolites, tentatively identified as 3-alkylchroman-4-carboxylic acids (with alkyl groups ranging from C2 to C5), were formed in the Coyote Creek microcosms. These metabolites are presumably formed from ortho-CAP1ECs by intramolecular ring closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6409-6414
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008


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