ASTM D6006 - 11

    Standard Guide for Assessing Biodegradability of Hydraulic Fluids

    Active Standard ASTM D6006 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.12

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.02


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    Significance and Use

    This guide discusses ways to assess the likelihood that a hydraulic fluid will undergo biodegradation if it enters an environment that is known to support biodegradation of some substances, for example the material used as the positive control in the test. The information can be used in making or assessing claims of biodegradability of a fluid formula.

    Biodegradation occurs when a fluid interacts with the environment, and so the extent of biodegradation is a function of both the chemical composition of the hydraulic fluid and the physical, chemical, and biological status of the environment at the time the fluid enters it. This guide cannot assist in judging the status of a particular environment, so it is not meant to provide standards for judging the persistence of a hydraulic fluid in any specific environment either natural or man-made.

    If any of the tests discussed in this guide gives a high result, it implies that the hydraulic fluid will biodegrade and will not persist in the environmental compartment being considered. If a low result is obtained, it does not mean necessarily that the substance will not biodegrade in the environment, but does mean that further testing is required if a claim of biodegradability is to be made. Such testing may include, but is not limited to, other tests mentioned in this guide or simulation tests for a particular environmental compartment.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers and provides information to assist in planning a laboratory test or series of tests from which may be inferred information about the biodegradability of an unused fully formulated hydraulic fluid in its original form. Biodegradability is one of three characteristics which are assessed when judging the environmental impact of a hydraulic fluid. The other two characteristics are ecotoxicity and bioaccumulation.

    1.2 Biodegradability may be considered by type of environmental compartment: aerobic fresh water, aerobic marine, aerobic soil, and anaerobic media. Test methods for aerobic fresh water, aerobic soil and anaerobic media have been developed that are appropriate for the concerns and needs of testing in each compartment.

    1.3 This guide addresses releases to the environment that are incidental to the use of a hydraulic fluid but is not intended to cover situations of major, accidental release. The tests discussed in this guide take a minimum of three to four weeks. Therefore, issues relating to the biodegradability of hydraulic fluid are more effectively addressed before the fluid is used, and thus before incidental release may occur. Nothing in this guide should be taken to relieve the user of the responsibility to properly use and dispose of hydraulic fluids.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D5210 Test Method for Determining the Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials in the Presence of Municipal Sewage Sludge

    D5291 Test Methods for Instrumental Determination of Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen in Petroleum Products and Lubricants

    D5480 Test Method for Engine Oil Volatility by Gas Chromatography

    D5864 Test Method for Determining Aerobic Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components

    E1196

    ISO Standards

    ISO4259:1992(E) Petroleum Products-Determination and Application of Precision Data in Relation to Methods of Test

    OECD Standards

    OECD301F (the Manometric Respirometry Test) Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.120 (Hydraulic fluids)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15121504(Hydraulic oil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6006-11

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