Journal article Open Access

Rendering bio-inert low-density polyethylene amenable for biodegradation via fast high throughput reactive extrusion assisted oxidation

Pablo Ferrero; Olivia A. Attallah; Miguel Ángel Valera; Ivana Aleksic; Muhammad Azeem; Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic; Margaret Brennan Fournet

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      <creatorName>Pablo Ferrero</creatorName>
      <creatorName>Olivia A. Attallah</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Athlone Institute of Technology</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Miguel Ángel Valera</creatorName>
      <creatorName>Ivana Aleksic</creatorName>
      <affiliation>University of Belgrade: Univerzitet u Beogradu</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Muhammad Azeem</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Athlone Institute of Technology</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic</creatorName>
      <affiliation>University of Belgrade: Univerzitet u Beogradu</affiliation>
      <creatorName>Margaret Brennan Fournet</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Athlone Institute of Technology</affiliation>
    <title>Rendering bio-inert low-density polyethylene amenable for biodegradation via fast high throughput reactive extrusion assisted oxidation</title>
    <date dateType="Issued">2021-11-01</date>
  <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="JournalArticle"/>
    <alternateIdentifier alternateIdentifierType="url"></alternateIdentifier>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="DOI" relationType="IsIdenticalTo">10.21203/</relatedIdentifier>
    <rights rightsURI="">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</rights>
    <rights rightsURI="info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess">Open Access</rights>
    <description descriptionType="Abstract">&lt;p&gt;An energy efficient high throughput pre-treatment of low density polyethylene (LDPE) using a fast reactive extrusion (REX) assisted oxidation technique followed by bacterial attachment as an indicator for bio-amenability was studied. Silicon dioxide (SiO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt;) was selected as a model oxidizing and catalytic reagent with the REX process demonstrated to be effective both in the presence and absence of the catalyst. Optimized 5-minute duration pretreatment conditions were determined using Box-Behnken design (BBD) with respect to screws speed, operating temperature, and concentration of SiO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt;. The crystallinity index, carbonyl index and weight loss (%) of LDPE were used as the studied responses for BDD. FTIR and DSC spectra of the residual LDPE obtained after pretreatment with the REX assisted oxidation technique showed a significant increase in residual LDPE carbonyl index from 0 to 1.04 and a decrease of LDPE crystallinity index from 29% to 18%. Up to 5-fold molecular weight reductions were also demonstrated using GPC. Optimum LDPE pretreatment with a duration of 5 minutes was obtained at low screw speed (50 rpm), operating temperature of 380-390⁰C and variable concentration of SiO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt;&amp;nbsp;(0 and 2% (w/w)) indicating that effective pretreatment can occur under noncatalytic and catalysed conditions. Biofilms were successfully formed on pretreated LDPE samples after 14 days of incubation.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Furthermore, the technique proposed in this study is expected to provide a high throughput approach for pretreatment of pervasive recalcitrant PE based plastics to reduce their bio inertness.&lt;/p&gt;</description>
      <funderName>European Commission</funderName>
      <funderIdentifier funderIdentifierType="Crossref Funder ID">10.13039/100010661</funderIdentifier>
      <awardNumber awardURI="info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/870292/">870292</awardNumber>
      <awardTitle>Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastics</awardTitle>
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