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Disintegration testing under marine, industrial and home compost conditions according to TUV Austria certification

For OK compost® or OK biodegradable® certifications, the disintegration requirements are evaluated.

Disintegration / fragmentation is the physical decomposition of the material into tiny pieces. The disintegration study is an integral part of the specification standard for industrial (EN 13432) and domestic (NF T 51800) compost. This step makes it possible to ensure that the product in its final form has a thickness allowing its complete fragmentation (> 90%). The standards require that fragmentation of less than 2 mm be observed. There are two types of disintegration, the first at the laboratory scale and the second at the pilot scale.


Laboratory scale disintegration (ISO 20200). The study of disintegration on a laboratory scale is carried out according to the ISO 20200 standard. This standard imposes a study of disintegration in tanks having dimensions of 30 cm x 20 cm x 10 cm.

Pilot scale disintegration (ISO 16929). The study of biodegradation on a pilot scale makes it possible to work with a larger quantity of bio-waste (approximately 35 kg of wet matter). This method has the advantage of being able to prepare the compost for future ecotoxicity tests on two types of plants. The disintegration test is carried out under defined and standardized composting conditions on a pilot scale.

This method, therefore, requires working with larger quantities of plastics, approximately 1 kg in the form of a final product for a disintegration test and 6 kg in the form of a powder if an ecotoxicity test is planned afterwards

Disintegration in the marine environment: Disintegration in the marine environment has no specific standard and in Europe, no standard is recognized for testing this parameter. As a result, IPC bases itself on the specifications of TÜV Austria to study this parameter. Marine disintegration is carried out at 30°C in natural seawater for a maximum of 84 days. Incubation takes place in a thermostatically controlled enclosure allowing seawater to be stirred at 170 rpm.


Specifications and Deliverables
Disintegration in marine environment: 84 days, sample 500 g, 10 samples max
Disintegration of domestic compost: 6 months max, sample 500 g, No sample limit
Industrial compost disintegration: 3 months max, sample 10 kg, 2 samples max

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