Biodegradability of lignin—Polypropylene composite films
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Biological degradation of composite lignin-polypropylene films containing 4% organocell lignin was confirmed by treatment with lignin-degrading enzymes produced by the white-rot fungusPhanerochœte chrysosporium. The kinetics ofP. chrysosporium culture in the presence of lignin-containing and lignin-free polypropylene films show that the fungus produced lignin-degrading enzymes into the liquid medium during incubation with the lignin-polypropylene film. The degree of biodegradation of both types of film was followed by monitoring their mechanical properties. Correlation was found between the decrease of elongation at break and the amount of released lignin fragments into the extracellular fluid in the course of microbial treatment. The incorporation of lignin into polyolefins represents a new way of using wastes from pulp and paper industry to reduce the environmental impact factor of waste plastics.
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