The most comprehensive approach to biodegradation studies in the industry


Ready Biodegradation Testing:

Ready Biodegradation Testing determines if a compound rapidly biodegrades to carbon dioxide in the environment - whether it be a waste water treatment facility, a receiving water body or a field of crops.  The criteria needed to meet the status of ‘Ready Biodegradability” according to the OECD 301 Guideline Series is a compound that converts to 60% CO2 within a 10-day window of reaching 10% biodegradation inside a 28-day study. Smithers provides a full suite of Ready Biodegradation Tests including:

  • OECD 301A: DOC Die-Away Test
  • OECD 301B: CO2 Evolution Test
  • OECD 301D: Closed Bottle Test
  • OECD 301E: Modified OECD Screening Test
  • OECD 301F: Manometric Respirometry Test
  • OECD 310: CO2 in Sealed Vessels (Headspace Test)


Inherent and Simulation Biodegradation Testing with activated sludge

For compounds that do not pass ready biodegradability standard, inherent biodegradability testing is performed to further investigate any environmental degradation pathway.  Smithers provides standard OECD 302 inherent biodegradability testing and the activated sludge simulation test under the OECD 303A Guideline using the porous pot test design as well as the more current OECD 314B: Biodegradation in Activated Sludge

The OECD 314B design uses an increased inoculum density similar to that found in most waste water treatment facilities and also recommends using radiolabeled test substances to facilitate lower detection limits.

Biodegradation in Seawater

Seawater biodegradation studies can be conducted with local coastal waters collected either from the Massachusetts south coast which catches the warmer seas from the Gulf Stream or collected from the Massachusetts Cape Cod Bay which catches the cooler seas from Canada.  Both test designs described in the OECD 306 Guideline and are conducted in our Wareham, MA facility.