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Implementation of respirometry for measuring biodegradable consumer products in various media

09 Jun 2022

Biodegradable products occur and biodegrade in all known environments. During the covid-19 pandemic, new large environmental pollution emerged due to the discarding of used protective masks. They can be found everywhere on land, waters, and seas. Certain ecologically oriented companies have started the production of biodegradable masks that are supposed to decompose in the natural environment. Extended areas of applications for ECHO Instruments respirometer system for measuring face masks and women sanitary pads/tampons will be presented. We will present the results and show some ways how to conduct such experiments.

Waste products made from bioplastic can also be found as waste in rivers or seas; therefore, it is important to understand what impact this plastic has to our environment. Algae are the most important group of organisms participating in the circulation of matter and energy in ecosystems. The synergy between bacteria, typically heterotrophic species, that use organic matter and O2 for growth while releasing CO2, and photosynthetic autotrophic microalgae, which use CO2 and sunlight for growth, incorporating nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous), allows for better efficiencies in water pollutants removal. The question on how this system works in biodegradation of bioplastic is very important for ecologists, researchers, and producers of bioplastics. Therefore, a new type of respirometry system – photo respirometer, for laboratory measurement of biodegradation in the marine environment will be presented. Intensive research work is still needed on the development of biodegradation measurements in order to optimize the measurement processes and shorten the analysis time.

Andrej Holobar, CEO - ECHO Instruments