Colonization and biodegradation of photo-oxidized low-density polyethylene (LDPE) by new strains of Aspergillus sp. and Lysinibacillus sp.

Atefeh Esmaeili, Ahmad Ali Pourbabaee, Hossein Ali Alikhani, Farzin Shabani, Lalit Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The primary objective of this study was the isolation of low-density polyethylene (LDPE)-degrading microorganisms. Soil samples were obtained from an aged municipal landfill in Tehran, Iran, and enrichment culture procedures were performed using LDPE films and powder. Screening steps were conducted using linear paraffin, liquid ethylene oligomer, and LDPE powder as the sole source of carbon. Two landfill-source isolates, identified as Lysinibacillus xylanilyticus XDB9 (T) strain S7-10F and Aspergillus niger strain F1-16S, were selected as super strains. Photo-oxidation (25 days under ultraviolet [UV] irradiation) was used as a pretreatment of the LDPE samples without pro-oxidant additives. The PE biodegradation process was performed for 56 days in a liquid mineral medium using UV-irradiated pure LDPE films without pro-oxidant additives in the presence of the bacterial isolate, the fungal isolate, and the mixture of the two isolates. The process was monitored by measuring the fungal biomass, the bacterial growth, and the pH of the medium. During the process, the fungal biomass and the bacterial growth increased, and the pH of the medium decreased, which suggests the utilization of the preoxidized PE by the selected isolates as the sole source of carbon. Carbonyl and double bond indices exhibited the highest amount of decrement and increment, respectively, in the presence of the fungal isolate, and the lowest indices were obtained from the treatment of a mixture of both fungal and bacterial isolates. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses showed that the selected isolates modified and colonized preoxidized pure LDPE films without pro-oxidant additives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalBioremediation Journal
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aspergillus
  • Bacillus
  • biodegradation
  • isolation
  • polyethylene

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