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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e38341. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038341. Epub 2012 May 31.

Introduction of environmentally degradable parameters to evaluate the biodegradability of biodegradable polymers.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology for Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, NanKai University, Tianjin, China.

Abstract

Environmentally Degradable Parameter ((Ed)K) is of importance in the describing of biodegradability of environmentally biodegradable polymers (BDPs). In this study, a concept (Ed)K was introduced. A test procedure of using the ISO 14852 method and detecting the evolved carbon dioxide as an analytical parameter was developed, and the calculated (Ed)K was used as an indicator for the ultimate biodegradability of materials. Starch and polyethylene used as reference materials were defined as the (Ed)K values of 100 and 0, respectively. Natural soil samples were inoculated into bioreactors, followed by determining the rates of biodegradation of the reference materials and 15 commercial BDPs over a 2-week test period. Finally, a formula was deduced to calculate the value of (Ed)K for each material. The (Ed)K values of the tested materials have a positive correlation to their biodegradation rates in the simulated soil environment, and they indicated the relative biodegradation rate of each material among all the tested materials. Therefore, the (Ed)K was shown to be a reliable indicator for quantitatively evaluating the potential biodegradability of BDPs in the natural environment.

PMID:
22675455
PMCID:
PMC3365006
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0038341
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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