Forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials Part IV: Case study of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene commercial bag – Aging in biotic and abiotic environment
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AbstractThe public awareness of the quality of environment stimulates the endeavor to safe polymeric materials and their degradation products. The aim of the forensic engineering case study presented in this paper is to evaluate the aging process of commercial oxo-degradable polyethylene bag under real industrial composting conditions and in distilled water at 70 °C, for comparison. Partial degradation of the investigated material was monitored by changes in molecular weight, thermal properties and Keto Carbonyl Bond Index and Vinyl Bond Index, which were calculated from the FTIR spectra. The results indicate that such an oxo-degradable product offered in markets degrades slowly under industrial composting conditions. Even fragmentation is slow, and it is dubious that biological mineralization of this material would occur within a year under industrial composting conditions. The slow degradation and fragmentation is most likely due to partially crosslinking after long time of degradation, which results in the limitation of low molecular weight residues for assimilation. The work suggests that these materials should not be labeled as biodegradable, and should be further analyzed in order to avoid the spread of persistent artificial materials in nature.
CitationMusioł M., Rydz J., Janeczek H., Radecka I., Jiang G., Kowalczuk M. (2017) 'Forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials Part IV: Case study of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene commercial bag – Aging in biotic and abiotic environment', Waste Management, 64, pp. 20-27 doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.03.043
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Waste Management on 03/04/2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2017.03.043 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
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