Biodegradation of polyethylene film in the presence of fungi and in soil
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The aim of the investigation was the biodegradation of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film modified with Bionolle?. The samples in the form of composite films were prepared by homogenization and extrusion. The biodegradation process was performed in the laboratory scale or under environmental conditions. The examined films were placed into different media and incubated in the presence of fungi Aspergillus niger, Penicillium funiculosum and mixed fungi inoculum. Any changes in the various properties of the films after biodegradation were monitored by weight loss, optical and scanning electron microscopy and FTIR spectroscopy. The results of the study have proved that fungal growth on the polymer samples containing low amount of polyester depends on the presence of nutrients in media. Sucrose inhibited polymer disintegration more strongly than nutrient broth. FTIR analysis revealed that filamentous fungi biodegraded not only polyester, but also polyethylene. On the contrary, LDPE incubated in soil did not exhibit any chemical changes. This highly hydrophobic polymer was more susceptible to biodegradation only in the presence of Bionolle?.
Publication order reference
J. Pajak, Katedra Biochemii, Uniwersytet Slaski, ul. Jagiellonska 28, 40-032 Katowice, Poland