The extent and rate of degradation of flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibers, both in the native state and after surface chemical modification (acetylation or polyethylene glycol, PEG, grafting), was investigated under laboratory conditions in two different biodegrading environments. Degradation of the fibers under aerobic conditions by the action of the microorganisms present in soil is assessed with the ASTM 5988-96 method by monitoring carbon dioxide evolution. ‘In vitro’ biodegradation experiments were carried out by exposing the fibers to a pure culture of Cellvibrio fibrovorans bacteria and measuring the mass loss as a function of time. In spite of the complexity of the system, the results of degradation in soil were satisfactorily reproducible, although the absolute rates were found to change in different experiments using the same soil. The degradation rate of acetylated fibers in soil nearly equals that of unmodified fibers, whereas in the pure culture acetylated fibers biodegrade slower than native fibers. The opposite happens with the PEG-grafted fibers, which degrade slower than unmodified flax in soil and at a comparable rate upon ‘in vitro’ exposure to the bacterial culture. The different biodegradation kinetics observed in the two biodegrading environments were attributed to differences of biocenoses, abiotic factors and biodegradation assessing methods. Nevertheless, the final extent of biodegradation was the same for modified and unmodified fibers both in soil and in the pure culture, showing that the surface chemical modifications applied do not significantly affect biodegradability of the flax fibers.

Biodegradation of chemically-modified flax fibers in soil and ‘in vitro’ with selected bacteria.

MODELLI, ALBERTO;SCANDOLA, MARIASTELLA;
2004

Abstract

The extent and rate of degradation of flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibers, both in the native state and after surface chemical modification (acetylation or polyethylene glycol, PEG, grafting), was investigated under laboratory conditions in two different biodegrading environments. Degradation of the fibers under aerobic conditions by the action of the microorganisms present in soil is assessed with the ASTM 5988-96 method by monitoring carbon dioxide evolution. ‘In vitro’ biodegradation experiments were carried out by exposing the fibers to a pure culture of Cellvibrio fibrovorans bacteria and measuring the mass loss as a function of time. In spite of the complexity of the system, the results of degradation in soil were satisfactorily reproducible, although the absolute rates were found to change in different experiments using the same soil. The degradation rate of acetylated fibers in soil nearly equals that of unmodified fibers, whereas in the pure culture acetylated fibers biodegrade slower than native fibers. The opposite happens with the PEG-grafted fibers, which degrade slower than unmodified flax in soil and at a comparable rate upon ‘in vitro’ exposure to the bacterial culture. The different biodegradation kinetics observed in the two biodegrading environments were attributed to differences of biocenoses, abiotic factors and biodegradation assessing methods. Nevertheless, the final extent of biodegradation was the same for modified and unmodified fibers both in soil and in the pure culture, showing that the surface chemical modifications applied do not significantly affect biodegradability of the flax fibers.
A. Modelli; G. Rondinelli; M. Scandola; J. Mergaert; M.C. Cnockaert
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/4177
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