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Metabolic pathway for the biodegradation of octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine

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The biodegradation curve of octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine determined in a Closed Bottle test suggested an initial oxidation of the alkyl chain and a subsequent degradation of the diethanolamine formed. Using the sludge from the test as inoculum, a bacterium capable of utilizing octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine as sole source of carbon and energy was isolated. This bacterium also utilized various other alkylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amines and octadecylpolyoxyethylene(5)amide. Respirometric studies and the formation of diethanolamine by a washed cell suspension of the pure culture showed that the bacterium only oxidized the alkyl chain. Furthermore, in cell-free extracts a dehydrogenase activity catalysing the oxidation of octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine was detected.

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van Ginkel, C.G., Kroon, A.G.M. Metabolic pathway for the biodegradation of octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine. Biodegradation 3, 435–443 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00240365

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Key words

  • octadecylbis(2-hydroxyethyl)amine
  • non-ionic surfactant
  • biodegradation
  • metabolism
  • central fission
  • diethanolamine