ASTM D5511 – Anaerobic Biodegradation

ASTM D5511 is a standard anaerobic biodegradation test method for determining anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials under high-solids anaerobic-digestion conditions.

Generally, aerobic biodegradation testing has to be performed to make product claims. ASTM D5511 follows the procedure that requires a material to be placed in a high-solids anaerobic digester for the production of digestive from municipal solid waste, which then can be measured and determines the rate and degree of anaerobic biodegradability of plastic materials

ASTM D5511 is expected to resemble the environment of a high-solids anaerobic-digestion, a process operated under optimum conditions that yields a percent conversion of carbon in the sample to carbon in the gaseous form under these conditions.

One limitation found with anaerobic biodegradation methods is that claims of performance are limited to the numerical result obtained in the test.

Biodegradability testing can aid in Product development and provide information on how a material may or may not degrade in its surrounding environment.

Choosing the correct biodegradation method to use for testing greatly depends on the product’s intended use and disposal environment, it’s physical and chemicals characteristics, as well as requirements for regulatory or market acceptance.

For more information on Anaerobic Biodegradation or Biodegradability Testing, contact our biodegradation laboratory at 847-483-9950 or