Health

Degradation of Plastics using Microbes.

Plastic is everywhere. It comes in different shapes and sizes and they all are stubborn and kind of invincible because unlike biodegradable matter, plastic is not degradable. this is where Bioengineers or Biotechnologists come.

Plastic is a synthetic polymer, polyethylene. The most troublesome plastic is LDPE this is mostly used for making plastic bags. We cannot burn plastic due to its toxic emissions into the environment and it is not good to bury it under the soil either so to remove their existance, microbes can be used to digest or degrade them.

Isolation of pastic degradable microbe can be done from local environment (as microbes exist everywhere). A particular microbe for particular type of plastic is selected. Microbes for this purpose can be bacteria or fungus or both.

As mentioned earlier, plastic is a polymer so microbes slowly break those long chains of polymers into smaller ones by excreting enzymes thus plastic surface starts to erode which is called biodegradation.

Analysis of the results can be done by comparing the weight of plastic sample before and after the treatment with microbes or by using a technique called (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) spectroscopy.

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