Lee Schechtman - Anaerobic Biodegradation of Aliphatic Polyesters:  Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyoctanoate) and Poly(ε-caprolactone)

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Federle, Thomas W., Barlaz, Morton A., Pettigrew, Charles A.,   Kerr, Kathy M., Kemper, Joseph. J., Nuck, Barbara A., Schechtman,   Lee A. Biomacromolecules 2002  3 (4) 813-822

      Abstract:  Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyoctanoate), PHBO, represents a   class of PHA copolymers that contain both short-chain-length and   medium-chain-length repeat units. Radiolabeled and cold PHBO,   containing 90 mol % 3-hydroxybutyrate and 10 mol %   3-hydroxyoctanoate were chemically synthesized using a new   difunctional alkoxyzinc initiator. 14C-PHBO was incubated with   samples of anaerobic digester sludge, septage, freshwater   sediment, and marine sediment under conditions resembling those   in situ. In addition, it was incubated in laboratory-scale   landfill reactors. 14C-PCL (poly-ε-caprolactone) was incubated   with anaerobic digester sludge and in landfill reactors.   Biodegradation was determined by measuring generation of 14CO2   and 14CH4 resulting from mineralization of the radiolabeled   polymers. PHBO was extensively mineralized in digester sludge,   septage sediments, and the landfill reactors, with half-lives   less than 30 days. PCL was not significantly mineralized in   digester sludge over 122 days. In the landfill reactors, PCL   mineralization was slow and was preceded by a long lag period   (>200 days), suggesting that PCL mineralization is limited by   its rate of hydrolysis. The results indicate that PHBO is   practically biodegradable in the major anaerobic habitats that it   may enter. In contrast, anaerobic biodegradation of PCL is less   ubiquitous and much slower.

      Address (URL): http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bm025520w