Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2019 | 24 | 145-156
Article title

Biodegradation of expanded polystyrene (EPS) (Styrofoam) block as feedstock to Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) imago: A promising plastic-degrading process

Title variants
Languages of publication
The study was conducted to determine the biodegradation of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) (Styrofoam) Blocks as feedstock to Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) Imago. Three-hundred-sixty (360) Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) Imagos were collected and acclimatized for two days before being exposed to experimentation. Incubation boxes were made using plywood. Three set-ups were prepared, with 30 Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) each. Seven (7) grams of Styrofoam Block were placed in Set-up 1, seven (7) grams of Styrofoam and seven (7) grams of Rice grain Bran in Set-up 2 and seven (7) grams of Rice grain Bran in Set-up 3 with three replications each. Mean percent mass loss of Styrofoam and Rice grain Bran, mean percent mass loss and survival rate of Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) were measured at 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th day incubation periods. Maximum mean percent mass loss in the different set-ups was observed at the 10th, 15th and 20th incubation period, with loses of 7.14%, 10.71% and 10.71%, respectively. Meanwhile, maximum mean percent increased weight of Tribolim castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) was observed at the 10th day incubation period, with 13.51%, 44.44% and 37.93%, respectively. Microscopic observation, of a dark white smear on the gut of the specimen indicates that Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) Imago really masticate and biodegrade the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) (Styrofoam) blocks. The survival rate of Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle) in the diverse set-ups showed no significant difference. This implies that ingestion of Styrofoam Block had no lethal effects on the natural weight variation and health of the Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle). Hence, results indicate that Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) (Styrofoam) Block can be a feedstock for Tribolium castaneum (Red Flour Beetle).
Physical description
  • Bansud National High School, Regional Science High School for MIMAROPA Bansud, Oriental Mindoro, 5210, Philippines
  • Bansud National High School, Regional Science High School for MIMAROPA Bansud, Oriental Mindoro, 5210, Philippines
  • [1] Bender, R., Ross, A. S., & Ward, H.A. (2003). Synergistic combination of insecticides to protect wood and wood-based products from insect damage. US 6,582,732 BI. Retrieved on December 20, 2018 from
  • [2] Bozek, M., Hanus-Lorenz, B., & Rybak, J. (2017). The studies on waste biodegradation by tenebrio molitor. E3S Web of Conferences, 17 (11), 1-7
  • [3] Butler, J.H.A., & Buckerfield, J.C. (1979). Digestion of lignin by termites. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 11(5), 507-5013
  • [4] Genta, F.A., Dillon, R.J., Terra, W.R., & Ferreira, C. (2006). Potential role for gut microbiota in cell wall digestion and glucoside detoxification in tenebrio molitor larvae. Journal of Insect Physiology, 59, 593-601
  • [5] Gibson, C.M. & Hunter, M.S. (2010). Extraordinarily widespread and fantastically complex: comparative biology of endosymbiotic bacterial and fungal mutualists of insect. Ecology Letter, 13, 223-234
  • [6] Ho, B.T., Roberts, T.K., & Lucas, S. (2018). An overview on biodegradation of polystyrene and modified polystyrene: the microbial approach. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 38(2), 308-320
  • [7] Kale, S.K., Deshmukh, A.G., Dudhare, M.S., & Patil, V.B. (2015). Microbial degradation of plastic: a review. Journal of Biochemical Technology, 6(2), 952-961
  • [8] Kaplan, D., Hartenestein, R., & Sutter, J. (1979). Biodegradation of polystyrene, poly(metnylmethacrylate), and phenol formaldehyde. Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 38, 551-553
  • [9] Kilic, E. (2018). A environmental friendly insect is tenebrio molitor (Tenebrionidae: Cleoptere). Science Stays True Here, 58-62
  • [10] Klimaszewski, J., Morency, M.J., Labriel, P., Seguin, A., Langor, D., Work, T., … & Thayer, M. (2013). Molecular and microscopic analysis of the gut contents of abundant rove beetle species (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) in the boreal balsam fir forest of Quebec, Canada. ZooKeys 353, 1-24
  • [11] Morales-Ramos, J. A., Rojas, M.G., Kay, S., Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., & Tedders, W.L. (2012). Impact of adult weight, density, and age reproduction of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal in Entemology Science, 47, 208-220
  • [12] Nukmal, N., Umar, S., Amanda, S.P., & Kanedi, M. (2017). Effect of Styrofoam waste feeds on the growth, development and fecundity of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor). Online Journal of Biological Sciences, 18(1), 24-28
  • [13] Sreeramoju, P., Prasad, M.S.K., & Lakshmipathi, V. (2016). Complete study of life cycle of tribolium castaneum and its weight variations in the developing stages. International Journal of Plant and Animal Environmental Sciences, 6, 95-100
  • [14] Suh, S.O &Blackwell, M. (2005a). Four new yeasts in the candida mesenterica clade associated with basidiocarp feeding beetles. Mycologia 97, 167-177
  • [15] Suh, S.O. & Blackwell, M. (2005b). The beetle gut as a habitat for new species of yeasts. Insect fungal associations: ecology and evolution. New York; Oxford University Press.
  • [16] Vega, F.E. & Dowd, P.F. (2005). The role of yeasts as insect endosymbionts. Insect-Fungal Associations: Ecology and Evolution. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • [17] World Health Organization (1987). IARC monograpghs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity: An Updating of IARC Monographs, 7 (pp. 1-42). Lyon, France: World Health Organization.
  • [18] Yang J., Y., Wu, W.M., Zhao, J., & Jiang, L. (2014). Evidence of polyethylene biodegradation by bacterial strains from the guts of plastic-eating waxworms. Environmental Science & Technology, 48(23), 13776-13784
  • [19] Yang, S.S., Brandon, A.M., Andrew Flanagan, J.C., Yang, J., Ning, D., Cai, S.Y., …& Wu, W.M. (2017). Biodegradation of polystyrene wastes in yellow mealworms (larvae of Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus): factors affecting biodegradation rates of and the ability of polystyrene fed larvae to complete their life cycle. Chemosphere, 1-36.
  • [20] Yang, Y., Yang, J., Wu, W.M., Zhao, J., Song, Y., Gao, L., …& Jiang, L. (2015a). Biodegradation and mineralization of polystyrene by plastic-eating mealworms: Part 1. Chemical and physical characterization and isotopic tests. Environmental Science &Technology, 49, 12080-12086.
  • [21] Yang, Y., Yang, J., Wu, W.M., Zhao, J., Song, Y., Gao, L., …& Jiang, L. (2015b). Biodegradation and mineralization of polystyrene by plastic-eating mealworms: Part 2. Role of gut microorganisms. Environmental Science & Technology, 49, 12087-1209
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.