Difference Between Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances

Technology has improved our life very much. In our everyday life, we use lots of things daily. After using those products, we produce things which are not more helpful to us, called waste or trash.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

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Quartz crystals normally used in quartz clocks etc. is chemically

2 / 10

Which of the following metals remain in liquid for under normal conditions?

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Which of the gas is not known as green house gas?

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Which of the following compound is mainly used in hand sanitizer?

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Fermentation is the process of ______.

6 / 10

The filament of an electric bulb is made of

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Where does photosynthesis take place?

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What is the fuel in the Sun?

9 / 10

Acid turns blue litmus paper into which color?

10 / 10

Potassium Permanganate is used for purifying drinking water, because

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Many things like vegetables and fruits, used tea leaves, plastic bottles, polythene bags, empty cartons, papers, and many more are trash.

Key Takeaways

  1. Biodegradable substances can be broken down into simpler substances by microorganisms.
  2. Non-biodegradable substances cannot be broken down by natural processes and persist in the environment for a long time.
  3. Biodegradable substances are generally less harmful to the environment than non-biodegradable substances.

Biodegradable vs Non-Biodegradable Substances

The difference between Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances is that a substance that can be easily degraded naturally with the help of fungus and bacteria is a Biodegradable substance. A substance that cannot be easily degraded naturally and pollutes the environment is called non-Biodegradable.

Biodegradable vs Non Biodegradable Substances

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonBiodegradable SubstanceNon-Biodegradable Substance
Degradation processThe degradation process is slow in this type of substance.The degradation process is prolonged in this type of substance.
UsagesThis can be used to produce biogas or make fertilizers.This cannot be used for anything. It is always toxic to the environment.
Decompose ByBacteria, fungi and other living organisms can decompose this.This cannot be composed by living organisms.
Cost for decompositionIt does not require any artificial things, so it is not costly for decomposition.It requires some costly chemicals to decompose that material.
ExamplesFruits, papers, vegetablesCarbon paper, glass, polythene

What are Biodegradable Substances?

Definition:- A substance that can be easily decomposed by bacteria or fungus and other natural organisms without polluting the environment is a Biodegradable substance.

Some examples of biodegradable substances are vegetables, fruits, food, flowers, dead plants, animal wastes, papers, and many more. Any aspect of the environment, like Oxygen, UV-Rays, Bacteria, fungus, and temperature, can degrade a Biodegradable substance.

A biodegradable substance is made naturally. These products are always non-toxic for the environment.

These materials can be used for fertilizers, biogas, compost, etc. Animals or plants mainly produce biodegradable substances.

The decomposing process is prolonged compared to non-Biodegradable because it is done by natural instance, and it takes time to decompose.

With the decomposing process times, it emits some gases which can be used for cooking and other works, although it’s not harmful. Nowadays, more people are attracting this type of Biodegradable product because now they know it is not polluting our environment but is also suitable for our health.

More and more people should use Biodegradable products to save our environment and live a happy life.

Biodegradable Substances

What are Non-Biodegradable Substances?

Definition: – A substance that cannot be decomposed by bacteria or fungus and decomposes process pollutes the environment is called a Non-Biodegradable substance.

Some examples of Non-Biodegradable substances are polythene, plastic bottles, tetra packs, carbon paper, glass, e-waste, manmade polymers and many more. Natural organisms cannot degrade a Non-Biodegradable substance. To degrade this type of product, we need to use some chemicals to react with them, and they can be degraded.

Humans mainly produce a non-biodegradable substance with some chemical reaction in the lab and then into big factories for an enormous amount. This product cannot degrade for many years, polluting the environment.

For this type of Non-Biodegradable product, we should use the 3 R concept called Reduce-Recycle-Reuse.

We should reduce the usage of Non-Biodegradable material, and instead of degrading it, we should recycle it and make other things we can use. We should make Reusable products to reduce the manufacturing of these kinds of Non-Biodegradable products.

Plastic is the most dangerous Non-biodegradable substance because there is no way to decompose it, so it will remain in the same quantity produced. It will be so harmful to living animals on the earth.

Non-Biodegradable Substances

Main Differences Between Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances

  1. Biodegradable substances decompose naturally and are suitable for the environment, and Non-Biodegradable substances are not decomposed naturally and are toxic to the environment.
  2. The speed of decomposition of the Biodegradable substance is slow. It takes a few weeks to a few months to decompose, while a Non-Biodegradable substance either does not decompose or takes hundreds of years to decompose.
  3. Biodegradable substances do not pollute the environment. Also, some of them are very useful for the environment. On another side, Non-Biodegradable substance is always harmful and toxic to the environment.
  4. A Biodegradable substance after decomposition can be used as a fertilizer to fertilize the soil, or it can be used to produce biogas which is the natural aspect, so it would not harm the environment. Still, Non-biodegradable substances would harm the environment and living animals.
  5. A Biodegradable substance will become part of biogeochemical cycles. After degradation, it will give back rapid turnover, but the Non-Biodegradable substance is not a part of biogeochemical cycles, so it never enters it.
Difference Between Biodegradable and Non Biodegradable Substances
  1. https://iwaponline.com/wst/article-abstract/23/1-3/339/26653
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