Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
WHAT IS BIODEGRADATION?
Biodegradation is the process by which complex molecules are changed into simple molecules through the action of micro-organisms.
Biodegradable waste will naturally break down and return to the soil.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BIODEGRADATION AND DEGRADATION?
Biodegradation is the process by which an organic material degrades through the action of micro-organisms over a certain period of time. Biodegradation can occur in either aerobic (with oxygen) or anaerobic (without oxygen) environments.
Degradation is the process by which a material is broken down into smaller pieces but never completely disappears. Plastic degradation can be initiated by the presence of oxygen, UV light, and heat. In many cases these products begin to degrade from the moment they are manufactured, resulting in an abbreviated shelf-life.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BIODEGRADATION AND COMPOSTABLE?
Compostability is a characteristic of a product, packaging or associated component that allows it to biodegrade under specific conditions (e.g. a certain temperature, timeframe, etc).
The primary difference between compostable and biodegradable is that compostable products require a specific setting in order to break down, whereas biodegradable products break down naturally. Typically composting is a faster process, but only under the right conditions. Both of these kinds of products are better for the environment than plastic products that can take hundreds of years to disintegrate.
ARE THE BY-PRODUCTS OF BIODEGRADATION HARMFUL TO OUR ENVIRONMENT?
Biodegradation is a natural process that is essential in maintaining our planet’s ecosystem and nutrient cycles. At KIK Compounds we believe that we should protect our planet and not leave today’s waste for future generations to deal with.
The waste gasses produced through the process of plastic biodegradation are manageable and can have useful applications.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
To broaden the scope of his research, KIK Compounds entered in a partnership with the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology (ICSTM) within Valahia University of Targoviste, with the aim of continuing research-development and innovation in aerobic biodegradability polymeric materials under controlled conditions.
ICSTM is an esteemed and valuable partner in all KIK Compounds’ new developments.
The tests are done using as guidelines the following international standards:
- EN ISO 14855-1 Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic under controlled composting conditions.
- EN ISO 17556: 2019 Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in soil by measuring the oxygen demand in a respirometer or the amount of carbon dioxide evolved.
- SR EN 14995: 2007 Plastics – Evaluation of compostability – Test scheme and specifications
American United Standard:
- ASTM D6400 Compostable Product Test – Composting
- ASTM D5338 Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting Conditions, Incorporating Thermophilic Temperatures
- ASTM D5511 Test Method is a test used to determine the rate of biodegradation of plastic products in an anaerobic biodigester environment.
- D5511 Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion Conditions – Standard test method for anaerobic biodegradation for landfill environments.
RENEWABLE SOURCES CONTENT TEST
- ISO 16620:2015 Plastics — Biobased content
- EN 16785-1:2015 Bio-based products – Bio-based content – Part 1: Determination of the bio-based content using the radiocarbon analysis and elemental analysis.