Aerobic biodegradation of the brominated flame retardants, dibromoneopentyl glycol and tribromoneopentyl alcohol Academic Article uri icon


  • Halogenated organic compounds constitute one of the largest and most diverse groups of chemicals in the environment. Many of these compounds are toxic, persistent and, as a result of their often limited biodegradability, tend to bioaccumulate in the environment. Dibromoneopentyl glycol (DBNPG) and tribromoneopentyl alcohol (TBNPA) are brominated flame retardants commonly used as additives during the manufacture of plastic polymers and as chemical intermediates in the synthesis of other flame retardants. Both are classified as not readily biodegradable. In this paper, we demonstrate the biodegradation of both DBNPG and TBNPA by a common bacterial consortium under aerobic conditions in enrichment cultures containing yeast extract. DBNPG and TBNPA biodegradation is accompanied by a release of bromide into the medium, due to a biological debromination reaction. Molecular analysis of the clone library PCR amplified 16S rRNA gene was used to characterize the bacterial consortium involved in the biodegradation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009