There is an increasing demand for bio-based polymers that are developed from recycled materials. The production of biodegradable polymers can include bio-technological (utilizing microorganisms or enzymes) or chemical synthesis procedures. This report demonstrates the corroboration of the molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) obtained by the conversion of waste polyethylene (PE) via non-oxygenated PE wax (N-PEW) as an additional carbon source for a bacterial species. The N-PEW, obtained from a PE pyrolysis reaction, has been found to be a beneficial carbon source for PHA production with Cupriavidus necator H16. The production of the N-PEW is an alternative to oxidized polyethylene wax (O-PEW) (that has been used as a carbon source previously) as it is less time consuming to manufacture and offers fewer industrial applications. A range of molecular structural analytical techniques were performed on the PHAs obtained; which included nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Our study showed that the PHA formed from N-PEW contained 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB) with 11 mol% of 3-hydroxyvalerate (HV) units.
Kwiecień, Iwona; Adamus, Grazyna; Jiang, Guozhan; Radecka, Iza; Baldwin, Timothy C.; Khan, Habib R.; Johnston, Brian; Pennetta, Valentina; Hill, David; Bretz, Inna; et al. (ACS Paragon Plus Environment, 2017-12-20)
The herbicide 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) conjugated with poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) was prepared via a melt transesterification route. The resultant bioactive oligomer was then mixed with a blend of polylactide (PLA) and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) with different loadings; to manufacture films to be used as a bioactive, biodegradable mulch to deliver the herbicide to target broadleaf weed species. The biological targeting of the MCPA-PHBV conjugate in the mulch film was investigated under glasshouse conditions using faba bean (Vicia faba) as a selective (non-target) model crop species having broadleaf morphology. The presence of the MCPA-PHBV conjugate in the biodegradable PBTA/PLA blend was shown to completely suppress the growth of broadleaf weed species, whilst displaying only a mild effect on the growth of the model crop. The degradation of the mulch film under glasshouse conditions was quite slow. The release of the MCPA-PHBV during this process was detected using NMR, GPC, EDS and DSC analyses, indicating that the majority of the MCPA diffused out after MCPA-PHBV conjugate bond scission. These data provide a strong “proof of concept” and show that this biodegradable, bioactive film is a good candidate for future field applications and may be of wide agricultural applicability.
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