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Ecofriendly degradation of polyethylene plastics using oil degrading microbes

Author(s):

Liny Padmanabhan *, Shreya Varghese , Raj Kumar Patel, Rajath H M and Krishnasree R K  

Abstract:


Plastics are advantageous as they are strong, light weighed and durable due to which it has wide applications. But as they are xenobiotic origin and recalcitrant nature, it’s degradation plastic wastes accumulating in the environment are posing an ever increasing ecological threat. Micro organisms play a pivotal role in the biodegradation of plastic. In the present work, microbial species are isolated from different sources such as cooking oil, greese and petroleum products. Of which two bacterial species such as Sphingomonas , Pseudomonas aeruginus and three fungal species such as Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus and one unidentified fugal species were identified. These five microbal species were used for the degradation of polyethylene plastic samples. It was found that after 35 days of incubation , degradation was more pronounced with respect to Sphingomonas species indicating 56% degradation with respect to black coloured polyethylene plastic and 31% respect to white coloured polyethylene plastic samples. The study also showed that the unidentified fungal species also indicated around 64% and 45%. It was observed that during degradation, pH altered from 7 to 8. SEM analysis also indicated appreciable surface erosions, folding, cracks and extensive roughening of the surface with pits formation. Sequence analysis of Sphinogomonas species was done in comparism to the similar known bacterial species and the phylogenetic tree was generated based on the sequence analysis.

Keywords:

Biodegradation, polyethylene, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Pseudomonas aeruginus, SEM analysis, sequence

Affiliation:

Acharya Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Shridevi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Tumkur, Shridevi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Tumkur, Shridevi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Tumkur, Shridevi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Tumkur



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