OECD 311 – Anaerobic Biodegradation
OECD 311 is used to assess the biodegradability of organic chemicals in anaerobic conditions.
The OECD 311 test method simulates conditions similar to an anaerobic digester. An anaerobic digester is a biological reactor typically used to digest sewage sludge after water treatment.
Prior to entering the environment, residual materials often end up in anaerobic digesters as the last option for treatment. OECD 311 assesses the biodegradability of these organic materials through conditions that simulate anaerobic digestion.
Standard testing for OECD 311 runs for 60 days. For the best interpretation of test results, the purity, water solubility, volatility, and absorption characteristics of the material should be known. For more information on biodegradability testing and how a material’s chemical or physical properties can affect biodegradability testing, please visit our Biodegradability Testing – Chemical Impacts page.
Biodegradability testing can measure aerobic or anaerobic biodegradability; for aerobic biodegradation, customers most commonly request OECD 301B for Ready biodegradability and OECD 302B for Inherent biodegradability. Customers commonly request biodegradation testing to support product claims. As with any product claims, it is highly recommended to review testing requirements with the appropriate agency prior to testing to determine which biodegradation method is required for labeling claims and regulatory acceptance.
Please inform the lab of any concerns regarding project turnaround time; compared to other biodegradability methods, there is additional lead time for OECD 311.