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ECO11-UNEW: Towards rationally designed hazard, risk and persistency assessment: Putting the “bio” back into biodegradability tests

Principal Investigator

Dr. Russell Davenport
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Cassie Building
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
Tel: +44 191 2225544
Fax: +44 191 2226502


Dr. Jason Snape, Brixham Environmental Laboratory, AstraZeneca UK Ltd., UK
Dr. Jon Ericson, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Pfizer Inc., USA
Dr. Torben Madsen and Dr. Anne R. Pedersen, DHI, Denmark


The objectives of this project are as follows:
Objective 1a.  Determine the extent and variation in microbial diversity of environmental sources used in biodegradation studies i.e. activated sludge, fresh-, estuarine- and marine-waters.
Objective 1b.  Examine the relationship between microbial diversity, cell density and the probability of biodegradation occurring for chemicals that have a range of environmental persistency.
Objective 2.  Compare different approaches to pre-concentrate biomass and their influence on microbial community composition.  These include sandwich filtration; centrifugation; tangential flow filtration; and biofilm development through the colonisation of glass beads.
Objective 3a.  Investigate the relationship between the test volume used in the biodegradation study, the microbial diversity introduced into the test, and the probability of observing degradation at a fixed initial test chemical concentration (i.e. study the impact of varied F:M).
Objective 3b.  Investigate the effect of proportionally increasing the inoculum density with initial test chemical concentration (i.e. fixed F:M) on biodegradation rates.
Objective 4.  Validate the enhanced biodegradation screening test using the CEFIC-LRI ECO12 reference chemicals for persistency, and publish the procedure in appropriate journals and submit the final protocol to the OECD or ISO test guidelines programme.

Related Publications

Research project summary:

Towards rationally designed hazard, risk and persistency assessment: Putting the "bio" back into biodegradability tests by Russell Davenport, Andrew Goodhead, Jason Snape, Jon Ericson and Torben Madsen


The Rational Analysis and Design of Enhanced Biodegradation Tests for Persistence Assessments by Russell J. Davenport, T. J. Martin, A.K.Goodhead, J.R.Snape, J. F. Ericson, T. Madsen and A. Pedersen

Timeline: January 2009 > December 2011

LRI funding: €399,333


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