Degradation of polymers

Biologically degradable materials are increasingly used in areas where the durability of products is undesirable after their use phase. Examples are mulch films or vegetable pots in agriculture and forestry or the "litter"-problem of packaging residues or cigarette butts in the environment. Furthermore biologically degradable materials can be recycled under certain conditions by composting them aerobically or by digesting them aerobically together with bio-waste. For this, the harmlessness of the ingredients and the biodegradability of material within common treatment duration times has to be proven. The requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and plastics are described in the following standards:

DIN EN 13432 (2000-12): Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation. Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging

DIN EN 14045 (2003-06): Evaluation of the disintegration of packaging materials in practical oriented tests under defined composting conditions

DIN EN 14046 (2003-07): Evaluation of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability and disintegration of packaging materials under controlled composting conditions - Method by analysis of released carbon dioxide

DIN EN 14806 (2005-10): Preliminary evaluation of the disintegration of packaging materials under simulated composting conditions in a laboratory scale test DIN EN 14995 (2007-03): Plastic material - Evaluation of compostability. Test scheme and evaluation criteria

DIN EN ISO 14851 (2004-10): Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in an aqueous medium -- Method by measuring the oxygen demand in a closed respirometer

DIN EN ISO 14852 (2004-10): Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in an aqueous medium -- Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide

EN ISO 14855-1 (2013-04): Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability and disintegration of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions - Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide

Hydrotox has been engaged since 1992 on the problem of the degradability of polymers and performs several standardised tests for determining the aerobic and anaerobic degradation in aquatic compartments according to the methods above mentioned. Studies under simulated composting conditions are carried out by co-operation laboratories.