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Evaluation of the biodegradability of products


Biodegradation is the biologically mediated breakdown of chemical compounds. When biodegradation is complete, the process is called mineralization, i.e., the total breakdown of organic molecules into CO2, water and inorganic compounds.

Laboratory simulation of environmental conditions enables us to evaluate the susceptibility of a given product to its metabolization by microorganisms normally present in the environment. The biodegradability of a product may be determined by the disappearance of the substrate (source of carbon, mineral salts, O2) or by the formation of a product (biomass, CO2 and others). IPT evaluates the biodegradability of different products based on instrumental chemical analyses according to conventional methodologies, using the following methods:

  • Biodegradability of anionic tensoactive agents (detergents) and sanitizing products, in accordance with ANVISA Regulation 393 of 1998;
  • Immediate biodegradability based on the decay rate of soluble COD (water-soluble and nonvolatile products) according to the Tests Manual for the Evaluation of Ecotoxicity of Chemical Agents – IBAMA – 1990 (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Resources);
  • Immediate biodegradability based on the rate of carbon dioxide released in an open system (not easily water-soluble and nonvolatile product) according to the IBAMA Manual and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Item 3.1.