Degradability of syndiotactic poly ([R]-β-hydroxybutyrate) (syn-PHB), a chemically synthesized PHB, was investigated in this study by incubation of the polymer films in a soil of northeastern China. During incubation, progressive weight loss of the syn-PHB films and a corresponding decrease of molecular weight were observed over the 90 days of incubation indicating the biodegradation of syn-PHB and a random cleavage of the ester bonds. Microorganisms isolated and identified from the partially degraded films included Pseudomonas spp., Alcaligenese sp., and Comamonas sp.. Our results suggest that chemically synthesized syn-PHB is biodegradable under aerobic conditions in soil.
- Biodegradable plastics
- Soil test