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Polymer biodegradation screening tests


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Polymer biodegradation screening tests

ICL Innovation, a technology incubator for ICL, is seeking an effective screening methodology for biodegradability of polymers in soil to precede a 2-years biodegradation test in close-to-real soil conditions.


Polymers biodegradation in the soil is affected by multiple factors with intricate co-dependencies: the soil type, the biome of a specific soil sample, geographical location, temperature, moisture, and other factors. Ultimately, biodegradation can only be ascertained in a full long-term test in as real conditions as possible. We are aiming at high biodegradation rates of 90%, or more, in soil over a period of 2 years at 25°C. 

For practical reasons, we're looking for an accelerated screening test to quickly select the most promising polymers before commencing a full-length biodegradation test. The accelerated test should take into account the micro-organisms activity, the soil medium, the bacteria culture used for the tests, additives that may be used to accelerate the test, and any other factor that may affect the result and make it meaningful, with the ultimate goal of reliably correlating the accelerated test result to the full 2-years test.

Our criteria

  1. Cost
  2. Correlation to a 2-years test
  3. Simplicity of screening process


Information on ICL's current product line for slow release and controlled release fertilizers can be found in the ICL Specialty Fertilizers web page.

As a technology incubator, ICL Innovation is looking only for innovative technologies that may be further developed and commercialized through a business unit in ICL. 

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