Biodegradation of Hydroxylated Polymers
Both qualitative and quantitative microbial methods have been used to investigate the biodegradability of two hydroxy-lated polyesters and their polyurethane derivatives. Bitritto and Huang reported that poly(hexamethylene tartrate) and poly(octamethylene tartrate), synthesized using paratoluene sulfonic acid as a catalyst, were good substrates for fungal growth.1 In this study it was found that tin chloride could also be used as a catalyst for the polyesterification reactions with no apparent effect on the biodegradability of the polymers. Both polymers, as well as polyurethanes synthesized from the polyesters, supported the growth of Aspergillus nicer on film surfaces. On the other hand, when zinc chloride was either used as a catalyst or incorporated into the polymer matrices, fungal growth was inhibited. Based on these results, further experiments were conducted to test the feasibility of using these biodegradable polymers as controlled release matrices for fungicidal agents. In these experiments, zinc chloride was incorporated into polymer tablets, the release profile examined, and the effect on fungal growth observed.
KeywordsPolymer Film Fungal Growth Zinc Chloride Zinc Phosphate Fungicidal Agent
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