Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A quantitative structure-biodegradation relationship (QSBR) approach to predict biodegradation rates of aromatic chemicals

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kishor AcharyaORCiD, Professor David WernerORCiD, Dr Jan DolfingORCiD, Dr Paola MeynetORCiD, Dr Wojciech MrozikORCiD, Oladapo Komolafe, Professor Russell DavenportORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 The Authors The objective of this work was to develop a QSBR model for the prioritization of organic pollutants based on biodegradation rates from a database containing globally harmonized biodegradation tests using relevant molecular descriptors. To do this, we first categorized the chemicals into three groups (Group 1: simple aromatic chemicals with a single ring, Group 2: aromatic chemicals with multiple rings and Group3: Group 1 plus Group 2) based on molecular descriptors, estimated the first order biodegradation rate of the chemicals using rating values derived from the BIOWIN3 model, and finally developed, validated and defined the applicability domain of models for each group using a multiple linear regression approach. All the developed QSBR models complied with OECD principles for QSAR validation. The biodegradation rate in the models for the two groups (Group 2 and 3 chemicals) are associated with abstract molecular descriptors that provide little relevant practical information towards understanding the relationship between chemical structure and biodegradation rates. However, molecular descriptors associated with the QSBR model for Group 1 chemicals (R 2 = 0.89, Q 2 loo = 0.87) provided information on properties that can readily be scrutinised and interpreted in relation to biodegradation processes. In combination, these results lead to the conclusion that QSBRs can be an alternative tool to estimate the persistence of chemicals, some of which can provide further insights into those factors affecting biodegradation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Acharya K, Werner D, Dolfing J, Barycki M, Meynet P, Mrozik W, Komolafe O, Puzyn T, Davenport RJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 157

Pages: 181-190

Print publication date: 15/06/2019

Online publication date: 28/03/2019

Acceptance date: 27/03/2019

Date deposited: 15/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0043-1354

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2448

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.03.086


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name