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Biodegradability of Plastics
Okinawa Industrial Technology Center/12-2 Suzaki, Uruma, Okinawa 904-2234, Japan
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)/Tsukuba Central 6, Higashi, Tsukuba Ibaraki 305- 8566, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2009; in revised form: 21 August 2009 / Accepted: 25 August 2009 / Published: 26 August 2009
Abstract: Plastic is a broad name given to different polymers with high molecular weight, which can be degraded by various processes. However, considering their abundance in the environment and their specificity in attacking plastics, biodegradation of plastics by microorganisms and enzymes seems to be the most effective process. When plastics are used as substrates for microorganisms, evaluation of their biodegradability should not only be based on their chemical structure, but also on their physical properties (melting point, glass transition temperature, crystallinity, storage modulus etc.). In this review, microbial and enzymatic biodegradation of plastics and some factors that affect their biodegradability are discussed.
Keywords: aliphatic polyesters; bio-based plastics; biodegradability; enzymatic degradation; microbial degradation
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Tokiwa, Y.; Calabia, B.P.; Ugwu, C.U.; Aiba, S. Biodegradability of Plastics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 3722-3742.
Tokiwa Y, Calabia BP, Ugwu CU, Aiba S. Biodegradability of Plastics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2009; 10(9):3722-3742.
Tokiwa, Yutaka; Calabia, Buenaventurada P.; Ugwu, Charles U.; Aiba, Seiichi. 2009. "Biodegradability of Plastics." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 10, no. 9: 3722-3742.