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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, Physical chemistry, 1.5 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
The use of plastics has spanned across almost all aspects of day to day life. Although their uses are invaluable, they contribute to the generation of a lot of waste products that end up in the environment and end up polluting natural habitats such as forests and the ocean. By treating low-density polyethylene (LDPE) samples with non-thermal plasma in ambient air and with an addition of ≈4% CO2, the biodegradation of the samples can be increased due to an increase in oxidative species causing better cell adhesion and acceptance on the polymer sample surface. It was, however, found that the use of this slight addition of CO2 aided in the biodegradation of the LDPE samples more than with solely ambient air as the carbon bonds measured from Raman spectroscopy were seen to decrease even more with this change in gas composition and chemistry. The results show that the largest increase of polymer degradation occurs when a voltage of 32 kV is applied over 300 s and with a mixture of ambient air and CO2 in the ratio 25:1.
Scally, L., M. Gulan & Weigang, L. (2018). Significance of a non-thermal plasma treatment on LDPE biodegradation with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Materials, vol. 11, no. 10, article no. 1925. doi:10.3390/ma11101925