ASTM WK66561

    New Test Method for Determining Aerobic Mineralization of Carbon-Based Materials under Industrial Thermophilic Composting Conditions

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D34.03 | Committee D34 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method determines the degree and rate of aerobic mineralization of carbon-based materials on exposure to a controlled-composting environment under laboratory conditions at thermophilic temperatures. 1.2 This test method is designed to yield reproducible and repeatable test results under controlled conditions that resemble industrial composting conditions in which thermophilic temperatures are maintained. The test substances are exposed to an inoculum that is derived from compost from household or municipal solid waste. The aerobic composting takes place in an environment in which temperature, aeration, and humidity are closely monitored and controlled. NOTE 1--During composting, thermophilic temperatures are most readily achieved in large-scale, professionally managed industrial facilities. While possible, it is less likely that thermophilic temperatures are maintained in smaller residential composting units, frequently referred to as backyard or home composting. This test method is not intended to replicate aerobic decomposition environments in which thermophilic temperatures are not maintained. 1.3 This test method is designed to yield a percentage of conversion of carbon in the sample to carbon dioxide. The rate of mineralization is monitored as well. 1.4 This test method is designed to be applicable to all carbon-based materials, which are intended to be composted in facilities that maintain thermophilic temperatures. 1.5 This test method is equivalent to ISO14855. 1.6 Units--The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. 1.7 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, health and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 8.


    aerobic biodegradation; biodegradation; composting; fiber; mineralization; paper; plastics


    This is a mirrored test method with D5338 that is under the jurisdiction of D20 (Plastics). There is industry interest in using this test method for carbon-based materials that are not plastic, such as paper, fiber, and other such materials. Per discussions with the chairpersons of both D20 and D34 as well as ASTM staff, it was decided that D34 should ballot the relevant standards within D34 that mirror the procedure but expand the types of materials used as test specimens. These new test methods may not be verbatim as they may have alterations that are relevant to differing types of carbon-based materials and use terminology as relevant for waste management and D34.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

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    Draft Under Development