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Biodegradability studies of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) film produced by a marine bacteria using Jatropha biodiesel byproduct as a substrate


Polyhydroxyalkanoates are water-insoluble, hydrophobic polymers and can be degraded by microorganisms that produce extracellular PHA depolymerase. The present work was aimed to evaluate the degradability of Polyhydroxyalkanoate film produced by Halomonas hydrothermalis using Jatropha biodiesel byproduct as a substrate. PHB films were subjected to degradation in soil and compared with the synthetic polymer (acrylate) and blend prepared using the synthetic polymer (acrylate) and PHB. After 50 days, 60% of weight loss in PHB film and after 180 days 10% of blended film was degraded while no degradation was found in the synthetic film. Scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy revealed that after 50 days the PHB film and the blended film became more porous after degradation while synthetic film was not porous. The degradative process was biologically mediated which was evident by the control in which the PHB films were kept in sterile soil and the films showed inherent integrity over time. The TGA and DSC analysis shows that the melting temperatures were changed after degradation indicating physical changes in the polymer during degradation.

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We gratefully acknowledge Dr. P. K. Ghosh (Director, CSMCRI) for his valuable suggestions. We acknowledge Mr. M. R. Gandhi and the members of PDEC division for providing the raw material being utilized in making the films. We also acknowledge Dr. P. Paul and the members of the Analytical science division of CSMCRI for help in characterization of PHB through FTIR, TGA, and DSC and Mr. Kirtan Dave for confocal imaging software analysis. A.S and S.K.M. wishes to acknowledge CSIR for a Sr. Research fellowship. IP and DJ acknowledge C.S.I.R for the financial support through RSP-0015 and NWP-018 project.

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Correspondence to Sandhya Mishra.

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Shrivastav, A., Mishra, S.K., Pancha, I. et al. Biodegradability studies of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) film produced by a marine bacteria using Jatropha biodiesel byproduct as a substrate. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 27, 1531–1541 (2011).

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  • Biodegradation
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
  • Jatropha
  • Biodiesel byproduct
  • Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)
  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)