ASTM D5929 - 18

    Standard Test Method for Determining Biodegradability of Materials Exposed to Source-Separated Organic Municipal Solid Waste Mesophilic Composting Conditions by Respirometry

    Active Standard ASTM D5929 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 MSW composting is considered an important component in the overall solid waste management strategy. The volume reduction achieved by composting, combined with the production of a usable end product (for example, compost as a soil amendment), has resulted in municipalities analyzing and selecting source-separated organic MSW composting as an alternative to landfill disposal of biodegradable organic materials. This standard provides a method to analyze and determine the effect of materials on the compost process and the performance, utility, and feasibility of the composting process as a method for managing organic solid waste material.5 Using this method, key parameters of process performance, including theoretical oxygen uptake (ThOU) and theoretical carbon dioxide production (ThCO2P) are determined.

    5.2 This test method provides a simulation of the overall compost process while maintaining reproducibility. Exposing the test material with several other types of organic materials that are typically in MSW provides an environment which provides the key characteristics of the composting process, including direct measurement of organism respiration.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the biodegradation properties of a material by reproducibly exposing materials to conditions typical of source-separated organic municipal solid waste (MSW) composting. A material is composted under controlled conditions using a synthetic compost matrix and determining the acclimation time, cumulative oxygen uptake, cumulative carbon dioxide production, and percent of theoretical biodegradation over the period of the test. This test method does not establish the suitability of the composted product for any use.

    1.2 This test is performed at mesophilic temperatures. Some municipal compost operations reach thermophilic temperatures during operation. Thermophilic temperatures can affect the biodegradation of some materials. This test is not intended to replicate conditions within municipal compost operations that reach thermophilic temperatures.

    1.3 The values stated in both inch-pound and SI units are to be regarded separately as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.4 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.

    1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    D513 Test Methods for Total and Dissolved Carbon Dioxide in Water

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1293 Test Methods for pH of Water

    D2908 Practice for Measuring Volatile Organic Matter in Water by Aqueous-Injection Gas Chromatography

    D6247 Test Method for Determination of Elemental Content of Polyolefins by Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

    E1621 Guide for Elemental Analysis by Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.30 (Biological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 47101524(Sludge or sewage composting equipment)


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D5929-18

    Citation Format

    ASTM D5929-18, Standard Test Method for Determining Biodegradability of Materials Exposed to Source-Separated Organic Municipal Solid Waste Mesophilic Composting Conditions by Respirometry, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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