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Plastics are man-made
long polymeric chain made up of more than 30 molecules. They are
widely used, economical materials characterized by excellent
all-round properties, easy moulding and manufacturing. Polyolefin
derived plastics such as polyethylene are currently used in plastic
films for garbage bags, mulching and compost bags. These plastics
are characteristically inert and resistant to microbial attack and
therefore they remain in the nature without any deformation for
very long time. There are so many polymers which are not
eco-friendly, some of them are following: Nylon 6, LDPE (Low
density polyethylene), HIPS (high intensity polystyrene) and HDPE
(High density polyethylene).
biodegradation of synthetic polymers using White rot fungi
J. Arun kumar, Ph.D.
White rot fungi are
basidiomycetes that are capable of degrading a lignocellulose
substrate. Three types of extracellular enzymes are produced by
white rot fungi that are non-selective yet effective in attacking
lignin. These are often referred to as Manganese-Dependent
Peroxidase (MnP) and Laccase (Lac) and they are Lignin Peroxidase (LiP).
Enumeration of biodegradation done by visual observation, UTM
(Universal Testing Machine) tensile tester, FTIR ANALYSIS and SEM
(Scanning electron microscopy). By the above analysis we concluded
that Upto 66% of Nylon 6, 58% of low density polyethylene, 71% of
HIPS (High intensity polystyrene) degraded by environmental
isolates of PleurotusSpwithin 6 months. commercial products are
more degraded than the natural unfilled polymers. It might be
because the Nylon filter, LDPE polythene and HIPS glass have more
surface area for the attachment of fungal mycelium than their
Currently working on
specificity of each enzyme (Lignin Peroxidase, Manganese Peroxidase
and laccase) in degradation of polymers.