Home About us MoEF Contact us Sitemap Tamil Website  
About Envis
Whats New
Research on Microbes
Microbiology Experts
Online Submission
Access Statistics

Site Visitors

blog tracking

Journal of Applied Polymer Science
111, No.3, 2009; Pages: 1426 - 1432

Biodegradation of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene

M. M. Reddy, M. Deighton, Rahul K. Gupta, S. N. Bhattacharya, R. Parthasarathy


Biodegradation of polyethylene and oxo-biodegradable polyethylene films was studied in this work. Abiotic oxidation, which is the first stage of oxo-biodegradation, was carried out for a period corresponding to 4 years of thermo-oxidation at composting temperatures. The oxidation was followed by biodegradation, which was achieved by inoculating the microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa on polyethylene film in mineral medium and monitoring its degradation. The changes in the molecular weight of polyethylene and the concentration of oxidation products were monitored by size exclusion chromatography and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. It has been found that the initial abiotic oxidation helps to reduce the molecular weight of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene and form easily biodegradable product fractions. In the microbial degradation stage, P. aeruginosa is found to form biofilm on polymer film indicating its growth. Molecular weight distribution data for biodegraded oxo-biodegradable polyethylene have shown that P. aeruginosa is able to utilize the low-molecular weight fractions produced during oxidation. However, it is not able to perturb the whole of the polymer volume as indicated by the narrowing of the polymer molecular weight distribution curve toward higher molecular fractions. The decrease in the carbonyl index, which indicates the concentration of carbonyl compounds, with time also indicates the progress of biodegradation.

Keywords:polyethylene; oxo-biodegradation; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; abiotic oxidation.



Copyright © 2005 ENVIS Centre ! All rights reserved
This site is optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution