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BIODEGRADATION OF LDPE - Article Description

Author Name: Krishnendu Behera

About The Author
krishnendu behera sahadevkhunta, dwarikanagar, balaasore, orissa, 756001

In recent year, there has been a marked increase in interest in biodegradable materials for use in packing, agriculture, marine, medicine & other areas. In particular, biodegradable polymer material(known as biocomposites)are of interest. This paper is intended to provide a brief outline of work that is under way in the area of biodegradable polymer research & development, the scientific theory behind these materials, areas in which this research is being applied & future work that awaits. Microbial degradation of polyethylene(LDPE)films has been described as materials not vulnerable to aerobic microbial attack. Principally this biodegradability depends on the capacity of different microorganisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the biodegradation of disposable LDPE films. Structurally this work intended to evaluate the capacity of a particular microorganism to enhance polyethylene film biodegradation in soil microorganism. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy(FTIR), scanning electron microscopy(SEM), tensile strength, X-ray diffraction(XRD), contact angle & weight loss were used to evaluate changes in morphological, structural & surface chemical composition as a result of biodegradation on LDPE exposed to microorganisms. LDPE was incubated with Curvularia lunata for 90 days. Degraded LDPE films were examined by FTIR spectroscopy. In the presence of a biotic atmosphere, the carbonyl peak decreased with time. At the same time there was an increase in double bonds, which was related to weight loss. An explanation of this behavior is present with the help of a proposed mechanism for the biodegradation of LDPE. I had collected the soil sample from the different regions of Orissa like Cuttack municipal area, garbage of GIET, Gunupur canteen & a clay soil. The microorganism were isolated from the soil by serial dilution method. I took LDPE films from market & cut into small pieces & sterilized & kept in the descicator. The strains were further subcultured & degradation rate were studied in every 10 days. Results showed 8% degradation after 40 days. After using the unknown microorganism i have taken the specific fungus Curvularia linata for increasing the rate of degradation. The fungus was culture in czapedox medium. LDPE films were first pretreated with heat, UV & heat+UV. Then the pre-treated films were exposed to Curvularia lunata. After every 20 days the LDPE films were removed for further characterization analysis of weight loss, FTIR, SEM result were obtained showing that degradation has taken place. After analysis of weight loss, FTIR & SEM it was concluded that the pre-treated LDPE films exposed to the fungus Curvularia lunata showed 13% degradation in 90 days of incubation.

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