For most toxic substances, an acclimatization period of 1-2 months is needed for the microorganisms. We distinguish, therefore, between primary and ultimate biodegradation rates. Acclimatized microorganisms are utilized to remove toxic substances from soil by in situ application of ecotechnology.
The following rules can be used as a first rough estimation of the biodegradability of organic compounds:
1. Higher molecular weight implies reduced bio-degradability.
2. Aliphatic compounds are more biodegradable than aromatic compounds.
3. Substitutions by halogens and nitro will decrease the biodegradability.
4. Introduction of double and triple bonds will generally imply increase in the biodegradability.
5. Oxygen and nitrogen bridges will decrease the biodegradability.
6. Branches are generally less biodegradable than the corresponding primary compounds.
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