The decomposition of organic matter is a key microbiological function in soil. A soil is healthy when organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling are intact. Against this background, a laboratory-based method was developed for quantitative evaluation of microbial decomposition of organic matter in contaminated soil. This method is based on the quantification of the ability of soil micro-organisms to decompose filter paper, i.e. lignin cellulosic material, as a standard organic material. In view of its standardisation as ISO method, an international ring test was organised by Environment Canada. ECT participated in all phases of the ring test (read more) and was involved in the discussion on the method. Following the successful ring testing, the ISO standard is now available: ISO/DIS 23265 ‘Soil quality – test for estimating organic matter decomposition in contaminated soil’.
For further information on the contribution of ECT to the development, standardisation and validation of test methods, see here.