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The biodegradability is an important environmental parameter for the assessment of organic substances and describes its decomposition and mineralization by microorganisms in the environment. The OECD differs between the ready biodegradability and the inherent biodegradability. If the criteria of ready biodegradability are not reached, the inherent degradability should be tested in the next step. The OECD test methods are required for classification and approval of different product groups and are selected in dependence of the substance properties.

Thanks to many years of experience we can help you to develop an individual test strategy and to find the appropriate test method for your substance!

Ready Biodegradability
Guideline Description Substance properties

OECD 301A

DOC-Die-Away Test

water soluble,
not volatile

OECD 301B

CO2-Evolution Test (Sturm Test)

insoluble in water,
not volatile

OECD 301D

Closed-Bottle Test

poor water soluble
volatile

OECD 301F

Manometric Respirometry Test

insoluble in water,
volatile

OECD 310

CO2-Headspace Test

volatile

 

Inherent Biodegradability
Guideline Description Substance properties

OECD 302B

Zahn-Wellens / EMPA Test

insoluble in water,
not volatile, filterable

 

Special Biodegradation Tests
Guideline Description
OECD 311/
ISO 11734

Anaerobic Biodegradability of Organic Compounds in Digested Sludge

DEKRA PSR document Plant Growth Test with Cress - Toxicity determination of oil degradation products (follows the DEKRA PSR document for evaluations & declarations in the product category hydraulic fluids). In the first part of the test, the biological degradation of test oil is held; in the second part plant seeds were treated with the degradation products of the test oil.

The following table shows the different Biodegradation Tests according OECD 301 which are applied in dependence of the substance properties.

Table 1 - Applicability of Test Methods (OECD 301, Ready Biodegradability)

Test Analytical method Suitability for compounds which are:
    poorly soluble volatile adsorbing

DOC Die-Away
(301A)

Dissolved organic carbon

-

-

+/-

Co2 Evolution
(301B)

Respirometry: CO2 evolution

+

-

+

Closed Bottle
(301D)

Respirometry: dissolved oxygen

+/-

+

+

Manometric Respirometry
(301F)

Oxygen consumption

+

+/-

+

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