Polymer Biodegradation and Biodegradable Polymers – a Review
Katarzyna Leja, Grażyna Lewandowicz
More details
Hide details
Department of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 48, 60-627 Poznań, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2010;19(2):255–266
Synthetic polymers are important in many branches of industry, for example in the packaging industry. However, they have an undesirable influence on the environment and cause problems with waste deposition and utilization. Thus, there is a tendency to substitute such polymers with polymers that undergo biodegradable processes. Increasing interest in applying polymers based on natural materials such as starch has been observed.
This review describes biodegradation processes of xenobiotics such as aromatic compounds, plastics (PVA, polyesters, polyethylene, and nylon), and polymer blends (Starch/Polyethylene, Starch/Polyester, and Starch/PVA). Moreover, this review includes information about biodegradable polymers such as mixtures of synthetic polymers and substances that are easy digestible by microorganisms (chemically modified starch, starch-polymer composites, thermoplastic starch, and biodegradable packing materials), synthetic materials with groups susceptible to hydrolytic microbial attack (polycaprolactone), and biopolyesters (poly-β-hydroxyalkanoates). Production of this kind of material and introducing it to the market is important for the natural environmental. It may result in decreasing the volume of waste dumps.