Degradation and Toxicity

Protect the environment

Environmental testing.

Anaerobic degradation

Normec OWS offers anaerobic degradation testing to provide detailed insight into the biodegradation and/or disintegration of a material or complete product in an anaerobic environment. Anaerobic degradation mainly occurs in purpose-built environments, such as managed end-of-life anaerobic digestion (AD) and waste water treatment plants, as well as landfills. The conditions differ, however, depending on the environment.

Why Normec OWS?

  • Independent laboratory
  • Recognized worldwide
  • Expert in the field

Anaerobic biodegradation

We offer anaerobic biodegradation tests according to the ASTM D5511 standard for HSAD (high solids), the ISO 13975 standard for LSAD (low solids), and the ISO 11734 and ISO 14853 standards for aqueous anaerobic testing.

During anaerobic biodegradation, microorganisms convert organic matter in the absence of oxygen into biogas (CO₂ + methane), which can be collected in a controlled environment, and biomass.

For testing in accordance with the ASTM D5511 standard for HSAD (high solids), we offer both mesophilic and thermophilic testing possibilities.Testing with mesophilic bacteria at a temperature of 37°C can be done to either simulate an anaerobic digestor or to simulate accelerated landfill testing. For the latter, one day of testing equals roughly 25 days of landfilling. Testing with thermophilic bacteria at a temperature of 55°C can also be done to simulate an anaerobic digestor, where the temperature that influences the biodegradation rate can be managed.

Testing conditions

Our testing procedures are optimized to replicate the conditions in either controlled or uncontrolled environments. As opposed to landfills, AD and waste water treatment plants are controlled environments specifically designed for optimal degradation conditions.

Although no certification yet exists for anaerobic biodegradation, we test under certification conditions for making marketing or legal claims, or screening conditions for supporting research & development purposes.

Disintegration testing

Besides anaerobic biodegradation tests, we also offer both quantitative and qualitative disintegration testing.

This is done to determine how the material breaks down into (much) smaller pieces and physically disappears.

Curious what Normec OWS can do for your company?

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All frequently asked questions
in a row

Is Normec OWS ISO 17025 accredited?

Yes, we are recognized by DIN CERTCO in line with ISO 17025. This accreditation covers all test procedures and standards with regard to compostability and biodegradation. Additionally, we are ISO 17025 accredited by BELAC for our compost analyses and also recognized by TÜV Austria. Normec OWS is also ISO 17020 accredited for inspection services and ISO 14001 approved for environmental management. View our recognitions & certificates.

Where is Normec OWS located?

Our main offices are located in Ghent, Belgium. We also have a subsidiary located in Kettering, Ohio to serve the needs of our American customers.

How long does testing take?

Testing duration depends on the specific type of test and the product itself. This can range from a couple of weeks for material characteristics testing, to months or even years for biodegradation testing. As these are microbial processes, we cannot predict the exact duration beforehand.