The innovative recycling method, we are proposing, relies upon the controlled oxidative fragmentation of waste LDPE plastic to the inexpensive substrates for future sustainable production of PHAs with the aid of Cupriavidus necator. LDPE oxidized fragments (PE-F) were obtained from the re-engineering LDPE film by means of pro-oxidant/pro-degradant additives, followed by treatment under natural UV light. Cupriavidus necator was grown in either tryptone soya broth (TSB) or basal salt medium (BSM) supplemented with PE-F for 48 h. PHA production was higher in TSB supplemented with PE-F (29%) than in TSB alone (only 0.6%). No PHA was detected in either BSM alone or BSM supplemented with PE-F. The recovered PHA was characterized using GPC, NMR, and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). These analytical tools applied confirmed that the resulting PHA was a terpolymer having an average molar mass of 624 kg/mol and consisting of 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB), 3-hydroxyvalerates (HV) and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (HH) co-monomer units randomly distributed along the chain backbone.
Environmental cleaning mission Bioconversion of oxidatively fragmented polyethylene plastic waste to value-added copolyesters