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Title: Role of microorganisms in degrading low density polythene (LDPE)
Authors: Ravi Champakalakshmi
Keywords: DRNTU::Engineering
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Plastics have become an indispensable and versatile product of everyday life. Dumping of plastic shopping bags is a major environmental concern in many countries around the world. These plastics have always created a great problem during disposal. Due to the growing environmental problems, various researches are being carried out to develop new and easy disposal strategies. One of the most practiced methods of degradation of plastics is Biodegradation. The present study is aimed at determining the biodegradability characteristics of the low density polythene (LDPE) when exposed to microorganisms. In the present study, films made from NTUC plastic bags have been incubated with four different strains of bacteria namely Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA01 and ATCC), Pseudomonas putida and Staphylococcus aureus. These preweighed films of accurate dimensions were inoculated with the specific bacterial strains for 120 days. The morphological as well as mechanical changes in the plastic films have been determined using scanning electron microscopy and tensile tester respectively. The residual weight of the polymer was analyzed by testing the weight changes of the plastic films after incubation. The absorbance of the films after incubation was also compared with the uninoculated films using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The products of degradation after biotic exposure were analyzed using gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. The results of these analysis showed that polythene has been degraded to some extent by all four strains of bacteria however the degradation capability was different for different strains of bacteria.
Description: 97 p.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Theses

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