Biodegradability of degradable plastic waste

Agamuthu, Pariatamby and Faizura, P.N. (2005) Biodegradability of degradable plastic waste. Waste Management & Research, 23 (2). pp. 95-100. ISSN 0734-242X

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Abstract

Plastic waste constitutes the third largest waste volume in Malaysian municipal solid waste (MSW), next to putrescible waste and paper. The plastic component in MSW from Kuala Lumpur averages 24% (by weight), whereas the national mean is about 15%. The 144 waste dumps in the country receive about 95% of the MSW, including plastic waste. The useful life of the landfills is fast diminishing as the plastic waste stays un-degraded for more than 50 years. In this study the compostability of polyethylene and pro-oxidant additive-based environmentally degradable plastics (EDP) was investigated. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) samples exposed hydrolytically or oxidatively at 60 degrees C showed that the abiotic degradation path was oxidative rather than hydrolytic. There was a weight loss of 8% and the plastic has been oxidized as shown by the additional carbonyl group exhibited in the Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) Spectrum. Oxidation rate seemed to be influenced by the amount of pro-oxidant additive, the chemical structure and morphology of the plastic samples, and the surface area. Composting studies during a 45-day experiment showed that the percentage elongation (reduction) was 20% for McD samples [high-density polyethylene, (HDPE) with 3% additive] and LL samples (LLDPE with 7% additive) and 18% reduction for totally degradable plastic (TDP) samples (HDPE with 3% additive). Lastly, microbial experiments using Pseudornonas aeroginosa on carbon-free media with degradable plastic samples as the sole carbon source, showed confirmatory results. A positive bacterial growth and a weight loss of 2.2% for degraded polyethylene samples were evident to show that the degradable plastic is biodegradable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air, Biodegradation, Environmental, Bioreactors, Hot Temperature, Manufactured Materials, Oxidation-Reduction, Polyethylene/*metabolism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa/*metabolism, Refuse Disposal/*methods, Soil, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared, Tensile Strength, Water
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Miss Malisa Diana
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2013 02:40
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 06:34
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/5019

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