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What does it mean when an organic compound, say methylene blue, is said to be mineralised? An accompanied equation shows the dye being converted into carbon dioxide and oxygen.

The only results I have found on Google are about soil chemistry.

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Simply put: organic → inorganic. Mineralization is often also called TOC diminution (the term “TOC reduction” is purposely avoided due to ambiguity in chemical context). From Duffus et al. [1, p. 1263]:

mineralization
Complete conversion of organic substances to inorganic derivatives, often visible as microscopic deposits which may be associated with damage to soft tissue (e.g., in the kidney).

Related entries from [1]:

biomineralization
Complete conversion of organic substances to inorganic derivatives by living organisms, especially microorganisms.

calcification
Form of mineralization in which organic tissue becomes hardened by deposition of calcium salts within its substance.

complete mineralization
Complete breakdown of a complex organic compound to carbon dioxide, water, oxides, and oxidative inorganic products such as nitrate or sulfate.

Reference

  1. Duffus, J. H.; Nordberg, M.; Templeton, D. M. Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology, 2nd Edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2007). Pure Appl. Chem. 2007, 79 (7). DOI: 10.1351/pac200779071153. (Free Access)
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