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2011 | 13 | 2 | 57-61

Article title

Pilot study of the influence of thermoplastic starch based polymer packaging material on the growth of diatom population in sea water environment


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Novel polymeric packaging materials susceptible to environmentally friendly decomposition appeared on the global market. The paper is devoted to an investigation of the impact of degradable polymer packaging on marine life. The chosen polymer was a commercial packaging based on thermoplastic starch (TPS over 85%). The microorganism chosen was Phaeodactylum tricornutum diatom (identified in many aquatic reservoirs, with a tendency to flow with seawater plankton in places of great saline oscillation). The packaging material was incubated both in natural seawater and in the presence of diatom population. The chlorophyll a content was determined as the criterion of diatom growth in the presence of tested polymers. The polymer surface and the colour changes in the diatom culture were recorded photographically. The presence of polymeric samples significantly changed the kinetic of diatom growth in seawater during incubation affecting its biological balance. During the experiment in seawater, diatom adhered to polymer surfaces and the polymer stimulated their growth.









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1 - 1 - 2011
16 - 6 - 2011


  • Chemical Faculty, Polymer Technology Department, Gdansk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
  • Chemical Faculty, Polymer Technology Department, Gdansk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
  • Chemical Faculty, Polymer Technology Department, Gdansk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
  • Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland


  • Kaczmarek, H. & Bajer, K. (2006). Study on biodegradation of polymeric materials. Part I. Basic definitions and methods of evaluation of biodegradation of polymer materials. Polimery. 51(10), 716-721 (in Polish).
  • Bastioli, C. (1998). Properties and applications of Mater-Bi starch-based materials. Polym Degrad. Stab. 59(1-3), 263-272. DOI:10.1016/S0141-3910(97)00156-0.[Crossref]
  • Rutkowska, M., Krasowska, K., Steinka, I. & Janik, H. (2004). Biodetoriation of Mater-Bi Y Class in Compost with Sewage Sludge. Polish J. Env. Stud. 13(1), 85-89.
  • Mezzanotte, V., Bertani, R., Degli Innocenti, F. & Tosin, M. (2005). Influence of inocula on the results of biodegradation tests, Polym Degrad. Stab. 87(1), 51-56. DOI:10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2004.06.009.[Crossref]
  • Alvarez, V.A., Ruseckaite, R.A., Vazquez, A. (2006). Degradation of sisal fibre / Mater Bi-Y biocomposites buried in soil. Polym Degrad. Stab. 91(12), 3156-3162. DOI:10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2006.07.011.[Crossref]
  • Rutkowska, M., Krasowska, K., Heimowska, A. & Steinka, I. (2002). Effect of poly(e-caprolactone) modification on its biodegradation in natural environments, Polimery 47(4), 262-268. (in Polish).
  • Rutkowska, M. & Heimowska, A. (2008). Degradation of naturally occurring polymeric materials in seawater environment, Polimery 53(11-12), 854-864. (in Polish).
  • Turoboyski, L. (1979). Technical Hydrobiology, PWN, Warsaw.
  • Siemińska, J. (1964). Flora Słodkowodna Polski. vol. 6. Bacillariophyceae - Diatoms, PWN, Warsaw.
  • Lange-Bertalot, H. (1996). Annotated diatom micrographs, Taxonomy, Iconographia Diatomologica, vol. 3-4, Koeltz Scientifica Books.
  • Schlosser, U.G. (1994). Botanica Acta, SAG - Sammlung von Algenkulturen at the University of Gottingen, 107, 111-186.

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