Essay On Biodegradation

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Introduction The first plastic was invented by Leo Hendrik Baekeland back in 1907. Thanks to this man, that since then, plastic has become an underlying part of the human era. Due to its dandy characteristics, like being lightweight, strong, inexpensive, durable, corrosion resistant, high thermal & electrical insulation, plastic is used in our daily life, in one form or the other, transforming our life in countless ways.[1] The plastics we use today are synthetic polymer made from inorganic and organic raw materials like carbon, silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and chloride. And these raw materials are derived from oil,coal and natural gas.[2] For decades, plastic material is being extensively used in transportation, food, clothing, packaging(mainly),…show more content…
Polymer characteristics are referring to its mobility, molecular weight, tacticity, crystallinity, type of functional group present, etc. These characters are said to be very important as the process of biodegradation highly depends on them. It even depends on the soil condition as microorganisms have their own optimal growth conditions in the soil. To initiate the process of biodegradation, it is vital for the microorganism to attach to a polymers surface (which is mandatory to be hydrophilic). Once it is attached successfully, the microorganism can grow using the polymer as its carbon source. Biodegradation involves two enzymes- extracellular and intracellular depolymerases. Microorganisms secrete these enzymes to cleave the main chain to form simpler monomers, oligomers or dimers so that they are small enough to pass through the semi permeable bacterial cell membrane. It is these low molecular weight compounds that are used by the microorganisms as carbon and energy source. This process is known as depolymerisation. The process in which end products are water, carbon dioxide and methane is called

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