A study of ether-linked moieties in macromolecular bound residues of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) generated in bioremediation experiments was performed using high temperature hydrolysis degradation with subsequent analysis of the products by GC-MS. This hydrolysis reaction was specifically designed to cleave ether bonds including relatively stable diarylether structures. Among the reaction products, aromatic alcohols representing typical microbiologically derived metabolites of PAH were found in addition to natural compounds. Thus, parts of the bound residues appeared to be linked within the macromolecular material by ether bonds. Model experiments with an oxidoreductase enzyme and aromatic alcohols indicate the formation of these ether bonds to be an enzyme-catalysed process.