Ready tests for biodegradability: Environmental interpretation

Biodegradation / 10 day window

The test (ready test) and the criterion (10 day window) to evaluate whether a chemical is readily biodegradable are found to be not waterproof at all ! There is the test itself which shows a poor reproducibility within one test method and a poor comparability between different test methods. Using this test as a basis, the 10 day window criterion is evaluated. This criterion is based on an empirical approach. In literature examples are given of chemicals that fail a ready test but indeed are quickly degraded in the environment. One can question whether the result obtained by the 10 day window criterion can be extrapolated to the environment and whether the result produced by a ready test actually makes sense for evaluating ready biodegradability. This indicates the need for a scientifically based (but still simple to perform and easy to evaluate) criterion for ready biodegradability.

Different steps in the project

  1. Create a database with data from literature and from the databases of the different participating companies
  2. Statistical analysis (within-test and between-test)
  3. Comparison of results from different methods (ready test, simulation test and monitoring test)
  4. Propose a new criterion replacing the 10 day window (f.e. kinetic approach)

Project duration: 1999-09-01 - 2000-02-28

Project home page


Ingmar Nopens
Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control
Coupure Links 653
9000 Gent
Tel: +32 9 264 59 35
Fax: +32 9 264 62 20

Last update: 01 december 2008,

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