ASTM D5526 – Anaerobic Biodegradation

ASTM D5526 is an anaerobic biodegradation test that is used to determine anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials under accelerated landfill conditions.

LandfillToy_24220274_XSASTM D5526 evaluates the percentage of conversion of carbon in the test sample to carbon in the gaseous form (CH4 and CO2) under conditions that resemble landfill conditions.

The material that results from testing can also be used to further evaluate different environmental impacts.  The partially degraded mixtures obtained after testing can be used to assess the ecotoxicological and health risks associated with anaerobic degradation of plastic materials after anaerobic biodegradation in a landfill.

ASTM D5526 can yield information that may increase the feasibility (economically speaking) of land-fill gas recovery.  It can also help to minimize the duration of after-care of the landfill and may make volume reduction in waste a possibility due to active biodegradation.  Another anaerobic biodegradation test that customers commonly request is the ASTM D5511 test method.

Although biodegradability testing can be performed for anaerobic or aerobic biodegradation, customer most commonly request aerobic biodegradation for solids tested by methods including ISO 16929, ASTM D6400, and ASTM D5338, in order to make claims about a product’s biodegradability performance.  These aerobic biodegradation test methods evaluate a materials ability to disintegrate and compost in commercial composting conditions.

Any time claims are intended to be made about a material or product, it is strongly recommended to review the testing requirements with the appropriate regulatory agency to understand which methods are required for product claims.

For liquid biodegradability, please see commonly requested methods OECD 301B, OECD 302B, OECD 306,  ASTM D5864, and ISO 14593.

For more information on Anaerobic Biodegradation or Biodegradability testing, contact our Biodegradation Laboratory at 847-483-9950 or