ISO 14592-1:2002 specifies a test method for evaluating the biodegradability of organic test compounds by aerobic microorganisms in surface waters by means of a shake-flask batch test with suspended biomass. It is applicable to natural surface water, free from coarse particles to simulate a pelagic environment (pelagic test) or to surface water with suspended solids or sediments added to obtain a level of 0,1 g/l to 1 g/l dry mass (suspended sediment test) to simulate a water-to-sediment interface or a water body with resuspended sediment material.
ISO 14592-1:2002 is applicable to organic test compounds present in lower concentrations (normally below 100 micrograms per litre) than those of natural carbon substrates also present in the system. Under these conditions, the test compounds serve as a secondary substrate and the kinetics for biodegradation would be expected to be first order (non-growth kinetics).
This test method is not recommended for use as proof of ultimate biodegradation which is better assessed using other standardized tests. It is also not applicable to studies on metabolite formation and accumulation which require higher test concentrations.