Biodegradation of modified polyethylene in soil under laboratory conditions
Polimery 2005, No 9, 675
The purpose of the study was to determine the biodegradation of polyethylene films modified with Bionolle® polyester in the soil, under laboratory conditions. The films examined (of neat PE-LD, neat polyester and system PE-LD:polyester = 70:30) were exposed to action of Penicillinum funiculosum or mixed fungi inoculum. Changes in organic matter content, humidity and pH of three kinds of soil (taken from a burrow, a forest and St. Anna Hills crater bottom) (Table 2) caused by degradation (up to 225 days) were characterized. Weight loss (Table 3) and mechanical properties (Table 4) of the films during degradation were determined. Scanning electron microscopy method has been used to estimate the surface of samples biodegraded (Fig. 1 and 2) while changes in the chemical structure of polymer chains were analyzed by IR method (Fig. 3). Film of polyethylene modified with BionolleŽ polyester biodegraded in the soil both poor and rich in organic matter. Such biodegradation leads to chemical conversions of both polyester and polyethylene.
Key words: polyethylene, polyester, modification, biodegradation, soils, fungi