Technological Innovation

What is EN ISO 15798:2013

The international standard EN ISO 15798:2013, also known as "Plastics – Determination of the ultimate anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials in an aqueous system – Method by measurement of biogas production", provides a thorough methodology for assessing the anaerobic biodegradability of plastics in water environments. This technical article aims to explain the key concepts and procedures outlined in this standard.

Understanding Anaerobic Biodegradation

Anaerobic biodegradation refers to the breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms in the aBS ENce of oxygen. The process occurs naturally in various ecosystems, such as landfills, sediments, and wastewater treatment systems. EN ISO 15798:2013 focuses specifically on evaluating the ultimate anaerobic biodegradability of plastics in water, simulating conditions found in aquatic environments.

Methodology for Assessing Biodegradation

EN ISO 15798:2013 outlines a step-by-step procedure for determining the ultimate anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials. The test involves subjecting the plastic sample to microbial activity in an anaerobic aqueous environment for a specific duration. Throughout the testing period, biogas production is measured regularly as an indicator of biodegradation.

To ensure accurate results, several factors need to be controlled during the experiment, including temperature, pH, inoculum, and the composition of the test medium. These parameters are carefully specified in the standard to ensure reproducibility and comparability of test results among different laboratories.

Significance and Applications

The evaluation of plastic materials' anaerobic biodegradability is crucial for understanding their environmental impact and potential for waste management strategies. Plastics that demonstrate high anaerobic biodegradability can be considered more environmentally friendly, as they have the potential to break down into harmless byproducts under specific conditions.

EN ISO 15798:2013 provides a standardized approach for manufacturers, researchers, and policymakers to assess the ultimate anaerobic biodegradability of plastic materials. This information can inform decisions regarding product development, waste management practices, and environmental regulations towards a more sustainable future.



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