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Materials (Basel). 2018 Oct 10;11(10). pii: E1925. doi: 10.3390/ma11101925.

Significance of a Non-Thermal Plasma Treatment on LDPE Biodegradation with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

Author information

1
BioPlasma Research Group, Dublin Institute of Technology, Sackville Place, Dublin 1, Dublin, Ireland. laurence.scally@dit.ie.
2
School of Physical Science, Dublin City University, Dublin 8, Ireland. miroslav.gulan@gmail.com.
3
Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade, P.O.B. 368, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. miroslav.gulan@gmail.com.
4
School of Biological Science, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland. lars.weigang2@mail.dcu.ie.
5
BioPlasma Research Group, Dublin Institute of Technology, Sackville Place, Dublin 1, Dublin, Ireland. pjcullen@dit.ie.
6
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. pjcullen@dit.ie.
7
School of Physical Science, Dublin City University, Dublin 8, Ireland. vm@dit.ie.
8
Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade, P.O.B. 368, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. vm@dit.ie.

Abstract

The use of plastics has spanned across almost all aspects of day to day life. Although their uses are invaluable, they contribute to the generation of a lot of waste products that end up in the environment and end up polluting natural habitats such as forests and the ocean. By treating low-density polyethylene (LDPE) samples with non-thermal plasma in ambient air and with an addition of ≈4% CO₂, the biodegradation of the samples can be increased due to an increase in oxidative species causing better cell adhesion and acceptance on the polymer sample surface. It was, however, found that the use of this slight addition of CO₂ aided in the biodegradation of the LDPE samples more than with solely ambient air as the carbon bonds measured from Raman spectroscopy were seen to decrease even more with this change in gas composition and chemistry. The results show that the largest increase of polymer degradation occurs when a voltage of 32 kV is applied over 300 s and with a mixture of ambient air and CO₂ in the ratio 25:1.

KEYWORDS:

biodegradation; non-thermal plasma; optical absorption spectroscopy; optical emission spectroscopy; plasma treatment; polymers

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