There are many ways that lubricants enter the environment.
Although great effort is put into prevention, its standard practice to presume that some will enter the environment. The ability to biodegrade is a key consideration in product development; especially for sensitive environments than could see a significant impact from the introduction of potentially hazardous liquids. For customers in the energy and maritime industries, biodegradability testing is an important step to gaining market acceptance for both new and existing products. It also helps add value and distinguishes a product from the competition.
Claims about a products’ biodegradability are challenging. It can be loosely applied as a description, yet depending on the market it can also be a strictly regulated performance parameter.
Before making a claim about a products performance consider:
- What type of Biodegradability is needed? Inherent, Readily or Ultimate Biodegradability?
- Is toxicity a concern?
- Does the customer have specific regulatory needs?
Ready and Ultimate Biodegradability are the most common measurements for biodegradability. Readily Biodegradable is rate of biodegradation that occurs within a specified time frame. At a certain point, the rate of biodegradation will plateau and no more of the material will biodegrade. This is Ultimate Biodegradability. Both values are analyzed in ISO 14593 and in OECD 301B.
Toxicity testing for solutions based biodegradation is not a test for specific EPA regulated chemicals. Rather, it determines if components are introduced into the environment that will hinder or even prevent plant growth. Customers use the OECD Guideline 208 Terrestrial Plant Growth Test method in conjunction with the OECD 301B Test Series.
Solution Based Biodegradation is covered either OECD 301B or ISO 14593 methods will provide a satisfactory assessment. The two methods have been harmonized and represent very similar test methods. Although there may be some preference depending on the needs of a customer in a given region, a customer’s familiarity with one of the methods, or if there are specific regulatory requirements.
Have questions? Just give us call and we can help guide the process to select the appropriate test.
– OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
– Request a test quote for OECD 301B
– ISO International Organization for Standards
ISO 14593 and OECD 301B
– EPA Inherent Biodegradability Test Guidelines
– ISO 14593 Test Quotes
– ASTM D6400 (Solid Material Biodegradation)Test Quotes
OECD 208 Test Quotes:
– OECD 208 Plant Toxicity Test Quotes