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Title: Sugar end-capped polyethylene: Ceric ammonium nitrate initiated oxidation and melt phase grafting of glucose onto polyethylene and its microbial degradation
Authors: Gisha, E L
Lissy Jose
Prasad, V S
Pillai, C K S
Keywords: Low density polyethylene
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Polymer Degradation and Stability 91(7):1484-1494;July 2006
Abstract: Low density polyethylene (LDPE) was modified to introduce biodegradability by grafting highly hydrophilic monomers (which can act as nutrients for microorganisms) such as glucose by a novel melt phase reaction using Brabender plasti-corder in the presence of ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) to obtain 4-O-hydroxymethyl D-arabinose (sugar) end-capped LDPE (Su-g-LDPE) at a maximum grafting of 16%. The grafted polymers were characterized by MR, thermal analysis, WAXD and mechanical property measurements. The biodegradability of Su-g-LDPE was carried out by soil-burial test and by optical density measurements in presence of an aerobic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. The degraded polymer shows changes in weight, crystallinity and inherent viscosity. Optical density of the medium registered an increase with degradation. FTIR spectra of the degraded samples showed 70% decrease in the ketone carbonyl index (v(1719)/v(1465)) of Su-g-LDPE indicating microbial degradation of LDPE matrix, which was further confirmed by SEM micrographs. The present data support a microbial oxidation process involving beta-oxidation whereby the carbonyl is further oxidized to carboxylic acid and affects cleavage of the LDPE chain at the ends.
ISSN: 0141-3910
Appears in Collections:2006

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