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Scheda del laboratorio:

Biodeg - apparecchiatura automatica per misure di biodegradabilità di polimeri plastici e per misure di respirazione di matrici organiche e suol

Funzionalita' del laboratorio: 

BIODEG evaluates the ultimate biodegradabilityof plastic polymers complying with the standard UNI EN 13432 and ISO 14855-1. 

BIODEG estimates the degree and rate of biodegradation of samples put under controlled composting conditions; specimen is kept in air-tight 2-3 liters’ vessel (up to 12 bioreactors) and exposed to an inoculum(mature compost) which drives the biodegradation during the test. BIODEG measures the carbon dioxide emission by Infra-Red Gas Analyzer (IRGA) method over a period up to 6 months. CO2analysis occurs sequentially and automatically on exhausted air coming from the samples run in triplicates, always including blank vessel (only inoculum) and a standard biodegradable compound (inoculum+ i.e. cellulose). 

BIODEG monitors pressure of the inlet air, temperature, CO2concentration and flow rate of the exhausted air by using a custom LabVIEWTMprogram interfaced with a data acquisition system. Acquisition of signals, control of actuators, remote software supervision, data elaboration and monitoring are performed by means of fit-for-purpose integration of hardware and software. Parameters are recorded, plotted and promptly displayed in tables, graphs and spreadsheets, showing in real time on video the degree and rate of biodegradation of each sample under analyses. 

BIODEG was validated in house by using simultaneously both infra-red gas analysis and Ba(OH)2titration methods for measuring the amount of carbon dioxide released during biodegradation.

BIODEGproves to be a flexibledevice:boundary conditions, such as temperatureof analyses, number of reactors, and air flow rate, can be easily varied, and different environments can be simulated by changing the design of the bioreactors, the inoculum used (e.g., soil or waterinstead of compost);environmental parameters put under control can be easily implemented(e.g., oxygen): this makes it possible to evaluate a wide range of different biodegradation scenarios.

Lastly, BIODEG shortens significantly time of analysis and reduces the likelihood of systematic errors that might result from the use of laborious Ba(OH)2titration method.

After a short training course aiming at appropriate managing of the equipment and learning procedures laid down by the applicable standard (UNI EN 13432 and ISO 14855-1), BIODEG can easily be run by standard Lab technicians with an average education



Servizi offerti: 

Analysis of the ultimate biodegradabilityof samples (plastic polymers) put under composting condition, according to UNI EN 13432 and ISO 14855-1 standards; target customer: bio-based plastic polymer industry.


Given its versatility, BIODEG can be easily adapted for running respiration tests in long term analyses under differently chosen aerobic biodegradation scenarios; target customer: private and public research institutions


Piattaforme Tecnologiche: 

Thermostatic Chamber (up to 60°C)
Campo di applicazione: 
Reproduction and maintenance of the typical composting temperature (58°C), according to UNI EN ISO 14855-1 Standard
Refrigerated Bath Circulator
Campo di applicazione: 
Dehydrating exhausted air coming out from BIODEG vessels prior to CO2 measurement
Campo di applicazione: 
Measurement of the flow rate coming out from each bioreactor

Castellani F., Esposito A., Stanzione V., Altieri R., (2014), Design and validation of an automated multiunit equipment for assessing the ultimate biodegradability (ISO 14855-1) of bio-plastics, in e-Proceedings Ecomondo 2014, Convegno BIOBASED INDUSTRY: “La ricerca e l’innovazione nelle bioraffinerie integrate”, a cura di: CTS Ecomondo, MISE, MIUR, Il Cluster Chimica Verde, SusChem Italy, Federchimica, 6 Novembre 2014, Rimini, Italy.

Castellani F., Esposito A., Stanzione V., Altieri R., (2014), Prototyping and validation of an automated apparatus able to estimate the biodegradability of polymers under composting condition, in Proceedings of XVI International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Symposium, 3-5 September 2014 Łódź, Poland.

Castellani F., Esposito A., Stanzione V., Altieri R., (2016). Measuring the Biodegradability of Plastic Polymers in Olive-Mill Waste Compost with an Experimental Apparatus, Advances in Materials Science and Engineering, Volume 2016, Article ID 6909283, 7 pages, doi:


BIODEG was designed, built and set-up in house by ISAFOM-CNR within the framework of IGAN ECO-POT project, where different bio-polymers were tested for prototyping biodegradable pots to be used in nursery for growing ornamental plants.

BIODEG was validated in house by ISAFOM; however, in case of necessity, a specific certification can be required to one of the few certification bodies (i.e. Vincotte) that applies European standards for system certification. 

Regione Toscana Agricultural Agency, Framework “Bando multimisura per progetti Integrati di Filiera (PIF) - Fase 2, Ordinance n. 161/2012. Reg. CE 1698/05 - PSR 2007/2013”, Project: “IGAN  (Italian Green Agri-Net) “Promozione di una rete di imprese vivaistiche (IGAN)  basata sull’allargamento ed il consolidamento della filiera di cui al PIF in corso di attuazione denominato SAN-SOIL e sulla  valorizzazione della produzione tramite la diffusione della certificazione ambientale MPS, l’ammodernamento delle aziende per rendere la produzione più ecocompatibile e la sperimentazione di un prodotto innovativo costituito dal vaso biodegradabile (Eco-Pot)”, Acronym: IGAN - ECO-POT, (2013-15).