Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 11, 2013

Ultimate Biodegradation of Commercial Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonates (LAS) Under ISO 14593 Headspace CO2 Test: Compliance with EU Detergent Regulation 648/2004

Vollständige biologische Abbaubarkeit von kommerziellen linearen Alkylbenzensulofinaten (LAS) gemäß ISO 14593 Headspace-CO2-Test: Übereinstimmung mit der EU-Detergentienverordnung 648/2004
  • L. I. Serrano , C. A. P. Velasco and A. S. C. Malagón


The EU Detergent Regulation 648/2004 introduces a new pass-fail criterion for the biodegradability of all surfactant classes used in household detergents. The new criterion is based on the determination of the mineralisation of the surfactant, ultimate biodegradability. There are a series of official biodegradation tests allowed in the new Regulation as well as a reference test based on the ISO 14593 method. There are few data in the literature about the biodegradation results of common surfactants using the above methodology and consequently the aim of our study was to apply it to a variety of commercial LAS products. Both the influence of the counter-ion and initial concentration of LAS have been assessed. The results confirm that LAS complies with the ultimate biodegradation requirements fixed on the new EU Detergent Regulation.


Die EU-Detergentienverordnung 648/2004 führte ein neues Ja-Nein-Kriterium für die biologische Abbaubarkeit Tensiden in Haushaltswaschmitteln ein. Es basiert auf der Bestimmung des vollständigen Abbaus des Tensids zu CO2 und Wasser (Mineralisierung). Gemäß der Detergentienverordnung sind mehrere offizielle Tests, den totalen biologischen Abbau zu bestimmen, erlaubt, u.a. ein Referenztest auf Basis der ISO 14593-Methode. Nur wenige Daten zum biologischen Abbau üblicher Tenside gemäß dieser Methode sind bisher publiziert. Daher wandten wir die Methode auf mehrere LAS enthaltende, kommerzielle Produkte an. Es wurde der Einfluss der Gegenionen und die Ausgangskonzentration an LAS bewertet. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass LAS die in der EU-Detergentienverordnung verankerten Kriterien des völligen biologischen Abbaus erfüllt.

Ph.D. A. Samuel Cantarero Malagón, Departamento de Química Analítica. Avda. Fuentenueva s/n. Universidad de Granada. 18071. Granada, Spain, Tel.: (34)958243326, Fax: (34)958243328. E-Mail:

Ph.D. A. Samuel Cantarero Malagón, Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Granada with European mention (2010). He has developed his professional career at both the University and in private enterprise. Currently, he works in the Research Centre for Scientific Instrumentation (University of Granada) in the unit of Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. His current address is: Departamento de Química Analítica, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.

Ms.C. Ignacio López Serrano, MSc in Chemistry by the University of Granada (1997) And Master in Engineering and Environmental Management by the Escuela de Organización Industrial (1999). At the end of 1999 he joined the former Petresa working within the R+D division. His area of research comprises of the study of raw materials, surfactant derivatives and detergency as well as the environmental behaviour of surfactants. Currently he is responsible for coordinating Research activities within the petrochemical division of Cepsa. His current address is: Cepsa Química S.A, San Roque, Cádiz, Spain.

Ph.D. Carlos Alberto Prieto Velasco holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering and obtained his PhD by the University of Granada (Spain) in 2007. He joined the R&D department of Petroquímica Española S.A. (PETRESA) in 2005, working at the Customer Service and Environmental laboratory. In 2009 he joined the corporate R&D Center of CEPSA, where he currently works as Refining and Petrochemistry researcher. His main researchactivities deal with surfactants chemistry and detergency. He is also a member of the Biorreactors research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Granada. His current address is: Cepsa R&D Center, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


1. EU Regulation (EC) 648/2004 on detergents. Official Journal of the European Union. L104 (2004) 135.Search in Google Scholar

2. International Standard Organization, ISO 14593, Water quality-evaluaton of ultimate aerobic biodegradability of organic compounds in aqueous medium-Method by analysis of inorganic carbon in seal vessels (CO2 headspace test) (1999).Search in Google Scholar

3. OECD. OECD guideline for testing of chemicals, Ready Biodegradability301, Paris (1992).Search in Google Scholar

4. Painter, H. A., Reynolds, P. and Comber, S.: Chemosphere50 (2003) 2938. 10.1016/S0045-6535(02)00405-8Search in Google Scholar

5. http://www.heraproject.comSearch in Google Scholar

6. EU Commission, DGIII, Study on the possible problems for the aquatic environment related to surfactants in detergents; WRc, EC 4294, February, (1997).Search in Google Scholar

7. Swisher, R. D.: Surfactant biodegradation, 2° Edition, Marcell Dekker, New York, (1987).Search in Google Scholar

8. in Google Scholar

9. Painter, H. A.,: OECD Test Guidelines Programme, Periodical Review, Detailed Review Paper on Biodegradability Testing (1992) 162.Search in Google Scholar

10. Gerike, P., Fischer, W. K.: Ecotox. Environ. Safety3 (1979) 159173. 10.1016/0147-6513(79)90009-5Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2011-04-19
Published Online: 2013-04-11
Published in Print: 2011-09-01

© 2011, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich

Downloaded on 2.10.2023 from
Scroll to top button