Arpana Pallavi Palanna D. Sayantan


Polyethylene has become an integral part of our contemporary lives. The neoteric versatile nature of polyethylene is used in constructing various applications. Out of the plastic waste discarded, 60% of the plastic waste enters landfills. The polyethylene discarded in the soil and water on exposure to the environment forms macroplastics (>2.5 cm), mesoplastics (5 mm - 2.5 cm) and microplastics (<5 mm). Microplastics in the water and soil are observed to have lethal and ecotoxicological effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. They enter the food chain and permeate into the food that one eats. In order to address this impending concern, the present study aimed to treat plastics to form a degradable, safe and earthy material. The dissolved polyethylene was treated with starch and was made to react with oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid and acetic acid to lower its inert ability to withstand its degradation. The effect of starch and oxidizing agents on dissolved low density polyethylene was subsequently analysed. The analysis of treated polyethylene showed a decrease in its crystallinity percentage by 6.19 and an increase in its functional groups on reaction with solvent trichloroethylene made to react with starch and oxidizing agents. In the present research, tests were conducted to obtain the various methods that can be utilized to reverse the inert ability of polyethylene. The prevailing recycling model that uses antioxidation techniques is counterproductive since it was found that such techniques appeared to make the polyethylene more resistant to further degradation. In this study, the polyethylene was dissolved in the solvents, such as xylene and trichloroethylene, to make the polyethylene more susceptible to reactants and hence a viable model for treating polyethylene.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Polyethylene, Plastic degradation, Oxidation reactions, Thermo-oxidation reaction

Amin, M R. Abu-Sharkh, B F. & Al-Harthi, M. (2012). Effect of starch addition on the properties of low-density polyethylene for developing environmentally degradable plastic bags. J. Chem. Eng., vol. 26, no. August, pp. 38–40, doi: 10.3329/jce.v26i1.10180
Anandhan, S. De P, Rajeev, R. & Bhowmick , A. (2009). Thermal degradation and swelling of thermoplastic vulcanizates from NBR/SAN and NBR/Scrap computer llastics blends. KGK Rubber Point, vol. 62.
Billingham, N. C. (2009). Oxidation and Stabilisation of Polyethylene, Retrieved January 10 2023, http://biomed.drexel.edu/uhmwpe/Conferences/4th_Annual.html%0Ahttp://biomed.drexel.edu/uhmwpe/Conferences/Presentations/4th_Oxidation.pdf
Bradney, L. Wijesekara, H. Palansooriya, K. N. Obadamudalige, N. Bolan, N. S. Ok, Y. S. Rinklebe, J. Kim, K. H. & Kirkham, M. B. (2019). Particulate plastics as a vector for toxic trace-element uptake by aquatic and terrestrial organisms and human health risk. Environment international, 131,104937. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.104937
Chaudhary, A K. Chitriv, S P. & Vijayakumar, R P. (2022). Influence of nitric acid on biodegradation of polystyrene and low-density polyethylene by Cephalosporium species, Arch. Microbiol., vol. 204, no. 8, pp. 1–10, Doi: 10.1007/s00203-022-03089-0
Chen, Q. Lv, W. Jiao, Y. Liu, Z. Li, Y. Cai, M. Wu, D. Zhou, W. & Zhao, Y. (2020). Effects of exposure to waterborne polystyrene microspheres on lipid metabolism in the hepatopancreas of juvenile redclaw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus. Aquatic Toxicology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2020.105497
Currier, B H. Currier, J H. Holdcroft, L A. & Citters, D W V. (2018). Effectiveness of anti-oxidant polyethylene: What early retrievals can tell us. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. - Part B Appl. Biomater., vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 353–359, doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.33840
FTIR Functional Group Table with Search -InstaNANO.9. Retrieved 2023 Jan 29, https://instanano.com/all/characterization/ftir/ftir-functional-group-search/
Fujimatsu, H. Kim, Y S. Matsuzaki, H. Nakamura, A. Usami & H. Ogasawara, S. (2012). Drawing properties and physical properties of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene swollen in mixed solvent, Polym. J., vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 709–717, 2001, doi: 10.1295/polymj.33.709
Gaspéri, J. Wright, S.L. Dris, R. Mandin, C. Guerrouache, M. Langlois, V. Kelly, F.J. & Tassin, B. (2018). Microplastics in air: Are we breathing it in? Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, 1, 1-5
Ghatge, S. Yang, Y. Ahn, J H. & Hur, H G. (2020). Biodegradation of polyethylene: a brief review, Appl. Biol. Chem., vol. 63, no. 1, p. 27, doi: 10.1186/s13765-020-00511-3
Karayannidis, G P. Sideridou, I D. Zamboulis, D X. Stalidis, G A. Bikiaris, D N. & Wilmes, A. (1994). Effect of some current antioxidants on the thermo-oxidative stability of poly (ethylene terephthalate), Polym. Degrad. Stab., vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 9–15, doi: 10.1016/0141-3910(94)90025-6
Karayannidis, G P. Sideridou, I D. & Zamboulis, D X. (1998). Antioxidants for poly(ethylene terephthalate). In: Pritchard, G. (eds) Plastics Additives, Polymer Science and Technology Series, vol 1. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-5862-6_11
Khaleghi, M. Ahmadi, E. Shahraki, M. Aliakbari, F. & Morshedi, D. (2020). Temperature-dependent formulation of a hydrogel based on Hyaluronic acid-polydimethyls iloxane for biomedical applications, Heliyon, vol. 6, p. e03494, doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03494
Liu, E K. He, W Q. & Yan, C R. (2014). White revolution to white pollution-agricultural plastic film mulch in China, Environ Research, Lett 9:091001
Muncke, J. (2021). Tackling the toxics in plastics packaging, PLoS Biol.;19(3):e3000961. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000961. PMID: 33784315; PMCID: PMC80 09362
Nowak, B. Paja, J. Drozd-Bratkowicz, K,M. & Rymarz, G. (2011). Microorganisms participating in the biodegradation of modified polyethylene films in different soils under laboratory conditions, Int Biodeterior Biodegradation 65:757–767
Oluwoye, I. Altarawneh, M. Gore, J. & Dlugogorski, B. Z. (2015). Oxidation of crystalline polyethylene, Combustion and Flame, 162(10), 3681-3690, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2015.07.007
Pegram, J E. & Andrady, A L. (1989). Outdoor weathering of selected polymeric materials under marine exposure conditions, Polym Degrad Stab 26:333–345
Percent Crystallinity by the XRD Integration Method. Retrieved 2023 Feb 26, https://mcl.mse.utah.edu/xrd-crystallinity-by-integration/
Roy, P.K. Surekha, P. Rajagopal, C. & Choudhary, V. (2008). Degradation behavior of linear low-density polyethylene films containing prooxidants under accelerated test conditions”, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 108: 2726-2733, https://doi.org/10.1002/app.27889
Sudhakar, M. Doble, M. Murthy, P S. & Venkatesan, R. (2008). Marine microbe mediated biodegradation of low- and high-density polyethylenes. Int Biodeterior Biodegradation, 61, 203–213
Wang, Y. Fu, J. Song, Q. Yu, J. Wang, Y. & Hu, Z. (2022). Regulating the dissolving system of ultra‐high molecular weight polyethylene to enhance the high‐strength and high‐modulus properties of resultant fibers. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.526 53
Wong, J. K. H. Lee, K K. Tang, K. H. D. & Yap, P. S. (2020). Microplastics in the freshwater and terrestrial environments: Prevalence, fates, impacts and sustainable solutions, Sci. Total Environ., vol. 719, p. 137512, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137512
Wong, S L. Ngadi, N. & Abdullah, T A T. (2014). Study on dissolution of low density polyethylene (LDPE), Appl. Mech. Mater., 695, 170–173, doi: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/amm.695.170.
Zander, N. Pappas, D. & Stein, B. 2014, (2009). Oxidation of polyethylene: A comparison of plasma and ultraviolet ozone processing technique.Army Research Laboratory , Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5069
Zhang, C. Chen, X. Wang, J. & Tan, L. (2017). Toxic effects of microplastic on marine microalgae Skeletonema costatum: Interactions between microplastic and algae, Environ. Pollut., 220, 1282–1288, doi: https://doi.org/1 0.1016/j.envpol.2016.11.005
Citation Format
How to Cite
Palanna, A. P., & Sayantan , D. (2023). A primary study on the degradation of low-density polyethylene treated with select oxidizing agents and starch. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 15(2), 884–889. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v15i2.4645
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles