An overview of methods for biodegradability testing of biopolymers and packaging materials

Merja Itävaara, Minna Vikman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper gives an overview of the methods used at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) for the biodegradability testing of solid polymers and packaging materials. Biodegradability of each polymer included in the packaging material should be separately tested. Aquatic aerobic and anaerobic tests and, in specific cases, enzymatic tests are used for screening purposes. The application of aquatic aerobic tests—an automated Sturm test (OECD 301B; ASTM D5209) and a VTT headspace test as well as an anaerobic test (ASTM D5210)—is discussed. Three composting tests and their applications are summarized. These tests are regarded as important because they can be used to simulate the biodegradability under real-life conditions. Several tests are needed to determine the fate of the polymer under real conditions and to study its biodegradability in different environments. The time needed for complete biodegradation of polymers in nature is impossible to predict with laboratory tests and should be studied in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Polymer Degradation
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

Biopolymers
Packaging materials
Biodegradability
Polymers
Testing
Composting
Biodegradation
Screening

Keywords

  • biodegradation
  • composting

Cite this

@article{5d8658404d1444e28c93168a36f14e18,
title = "An overview of methods for biodegradability testing of biopolymers and packaging materials",
abstract = "This paper gives an overview of the methods used at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) for the biodegradability testing of solid polymers and packaging materials. Biodegradability of each polymer included in the packaging material should be separately tested. Aquatic aerobic and anaerobic tests and, in specific cases, enzymatic tests are used for screening purposes. The application of aquatic aerobic tests—an automated Sturm test (OECD 301B; ASTM D5209) and a VTT headspace test as well as an anaerobic test (ASTM D5210)—is discussed. Three composting tests and their applications are summarized. These tests are regarded as important because they can be used to simulate the biodegradability under real-life conditions. Several tests are needed to determine the fate of the polymer under real conditions and to study its biodegradability in different environments. The time needed for complete biodegradation of polymers in nature is impossible to predict with laboratory tests and should be studied in vivo.",
keywords = "biodegradation, composting",
author = "Merja It{\"a}vaara and Minna Vikman",
note = "Project code: BEL2813",
year = "1996",
doi = "10.1007/BF02083880",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "29--36",
journal = "Journal of Polymers and the Environment",
issn = "1566-2543",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "1",

}

An overview of methods for biodegradability testing of biopolymers and packaging materials. / Itävaara, Merja; Vikman, Minna.

In: Journal of Environmental Polymer Degradation, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1996, p. 29-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - An overview of methods for biodegradability testing of biopolymers and packaging materials

AU - Itävaara, Merja

AU - Vikman, Minna

N1 - Project code: BEL2813

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - This paper gives an overview of the methods used at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) for the biodegradability testing of solid polymers and packaging materials. Biodegradability of each polymer included in the packaging material should be separately tested. Aquatic aerobic and anaerobic tests and, in specific cases, enzymatic tests are used for screening purposes. The application of aquatic aerobic tests—an automated Sturm test (OECD 301B; ASTM D5209) and a VTT headspace test as well as an anaerobic test (ASTM D5210)—is discussed. Three composting tests and their applications are summarized. These tests are regarded as important because they can be used to simulate the biodegradability under real-life conditions. Several tests are needed to determine the fate of the polymer under real conditions and to study its biodegradability in different environments. The time needed for complete biodegradation of polymers in nature is impossible to predict with laboratory tests and should be studied in vivo.

AB - This paper gives an overview of the methods used at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) for the biodegradability testing of solid polymers and packaging materials. Biodegradability of each polymer included in the packaging material should be separately tested. Aquatic aerobic and anaerobic tests and, in specific cases, enzymatic tests are used for screening purposes. The application of aquatic aerobic tests—an automated Sturm test (OECD 301B; ASTM D5209) and a VTT headspace test as well as an anaerobic test (ASTM D5210)—is discussed. Three composting tests and their applications are summarized. These tests are regarded as important because they can be used to simulate the biodegradability under real-life conditions. Several tests are needed to determine the fate of the polymer under real conditions and to study its biodegradability in different environments. The time needed for complete biodegradation of polymers in nature is impossible to predict with laboratory tests and should be studied in vivo.

KW - biodegradation

KW - composting

U2 - 10.1007/BF02083880

DO - 10.1007/BF02083880

M3 - Article

VL - 4

SP - 29

EP - 36

JO - Journal of Polymers and the Environment

JF - Journal of Polymers and the Environment

SN - 1566-2543

IS - 1

ER -