25 Jun 2021

Regulator-suggested ‘temperature correction’ of biodegradation rates leads to overestimation of persistence for hydrocarbon substances (Concawe Review 30.1)

Since 2017, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has required that all new biodegradation simulation tests be carried out at 12°C, and now also requires that half-life criteria resulting from studies previously undertaken at higher temperatures be ‘temperature-corrected’ to 12°C using a generic mathematical equation know as the Arrhenius equation.

This article outlines why, in Concawe’s view, the use of such a generic approach to adjusting biodegradation rates forpetroleum substances is not appropriate, and why a more nuanced, hydrocarbon-specific approach would be justified. 

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