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K. Krasowska, A. Heimowska, M. Rutkowska

Enzymatic and hydrolytic degradation of poly(ε-caprolactone) in natural environment

Polimery 2006, No 1, 21


Summary

The studies on environment degradation of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) in various natural conditions namely in the compost with activated sludge and in seawater were done. Poly(ε-caprolactone) degradation has been also carried out in laboratory conditions in seawater with sodium azide addition (NaN3, 0.195 g/L). NaN3 eliminated the activity of microorganisms what allowed evaluation of chemical hydrolysis part in the process of degradation in seawater. Enzymatic and chemical hydrolyses in the process of environmental degradation of PCL were evaluated based on the changes of: sample weight (Table 4), molecular weight of the polymer (Table 5) and the surface structure (Fig. 1). Effects of temperature, pH of environment and activities of dehydrogenases in the compost (Table 1-3) on the course of the process studied were determined. PCL sensitivity to biological decomposition has been confirmed. It was found that PCL degradation in the environments studied was a result of both enzymatic and chemical hydrolyses and enzymatic hydrolysis play the key role in the process.


Key words: poly(ε-caprolactone), biodegradation, enzymes' activity, hydrolysis, seawater, compost


e-mail: rutmaria@wsm.gdynia.pl


K. Krasowska, A. Heimowska, M. Rutkowska

Enzymatic and hydrolytic degradation of poly(ε-caprolactone) in natural environment