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Microbial deterioration of high-density polyethylene by selected microorganisms

Anchal Rani, Padma Singh, Ravinder Kumar.

Cited by 4 Articles

Plastics either natural or synthetic represent the class of polymeric substance having excessive use in all the sectors of the industrialization. The accumulation of disposed plastics leads a serious threat to the environment. This environmental threat can be reduced or eliminated by developing and using biodegradable plastics, which can be degraded by microorganisms. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the polymers that are nearly impossible to be degraded fully till date. The present study is focused on evaluating the degradation ability of HDPE and presented in two phases (i) Isolation and identification of polyethylene degrading microorganisms, and (ii) Biodegradation of polyethylene. Out of 16 fungal isolates, three fungal strains were screened from soil dump and these fungal isolates were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, and Fusarium sp. Efficiency of these microbes in polymer degradation was analyzed by percent weight reduction during a time period of 90 days at 28°C. Fusarium sp. was found to provide the maximum percentage degradation of 2.65% in 60 days. Surface deformities were visualized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The results of the present study are useful as all the isolates have shown significant biodegradation.

Key words: Polymer, HDPE, Aspergillus, Biodegradation, Shake flask method

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