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Biodegradation of plastic using microorganisms with help of nanoparticles: A review

Due to its characteristic strength and durability plastics have become an unavoidable part of daily usage of common mankind. The features of plastic is due do its molecular structure which has a great and closely cross-linked molecules. LDPE is the most commonly used polymer and is getting dumped in huge amount every year. The rate of accumulation of plastic is approximately around 2.5 million tons per year. Water resistance and high molecular weight of plastic contribute to its non-degradability. Land filling is one of the most popular methods used to get rid of the plastic produced. But land filling is adversely affecting the nature by decreasing the water absorption capacity of soil, decreasing its fertility, and blocking soil. Hence use of microorganisms for degrading plastic is one method which can prevent a great disaster. Microorganism help degrade plastic by releasing enzymes which work on polymer backbone and degrade plastic. Scientist have already studied various bacterial and fungal strains for degradation of LDPE and other types of plastics. Pseudomonas was found to be present in various soils where plastic was being dumped making it predominant bacterial strain to degrade plastic. Also Aspergillus is the fungal strain which has major contribution in degradation of plastic. Flusarium solani is another fungal strain which can degrade plastic to a good amount approximately 100%. Nanoparticles have been proved to enhance this ability of microorganisms to degrade plastic by a number of was like by effecting the growth cycle of microorganisms or by helping them to form a biofilm around the plastic etc. The use of microbial consortia along with incorporation of nanoparticles can be a promising method to increase the rate of biodegradation of plastic

Author(s): P. Swati*, Poornima Pandey, Harshita, Manimita, Shraddha, Mahavir Yadav and Archana Tiwari

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