Minimal Conditions to Degrade Low Density Polyethylene by Aspergillus terreus and niger
Melina Sáenz 1  
,  
Tamara Borodulina 1  
,  
Linda Diaz 2  
,  
 
 
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1
Universidad Agraria del Ecuador, Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agrarian Sciences, Av. 25 de Julio and P. Jaramillo, 59304, Guayaquil, Ecuador
2
Instituto Nacional de Investigación en Salud Pública - Dr. Leopoldo Izquieta Pérez, Julián Coronel 905, Guayaquil, Ecuador
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Melina Sáenz   

Universidad Agraria del Ecuador, Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agrarian Sciences, Av. 25 de Julio and P. Jaramillo, 59304, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Publish date: 2019-06-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(6):44–51
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ABSTRACT
Plastics pollution is a keen worldwide concern because there is a strong evidence about marine affectations which connects to human trophic chain. Thus, we experimented with the biodegradation of low density polyethylene (LDPE) by A. niger and A. terreus in order to increase the degradation rate without any co-substrate or photothermal treatment. Our contribution is to show how to degrade LDPE under minimum nutritional conditions using both LDPE and sucrose as carbon sources. Up to 30% weight loss was obtained by A. niger and A. terreus which were isolated from an Ecuadorian mangrove. Evidence of cracks and biomass growth on the LDPE surface samples showed the potential of both fungi species under low nutrient concentrations. The outlook of the present work is focused on the understanding of fungi survival under minimal conditions.