Biodegradation of Polyethylene by Green Photosynthetic Microalgae | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-6199

Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation
Open Access

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Research Article

Biodegradation of Polyethylene by Green Photosynthetic Microalgae

Ramachandran Vimal Kumar1, Gopal Rajesh Kanna2 and Sanniyasi Elumalai1*

1Department of Biotechnology, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

2Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Presidency College (Autonomous), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

*Corresponding Author:
Sanniyasi Elumalai
Department of Biotechnology, University of Madras
Guindy Campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: +919940053996
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: December 13, 2016; Accepted Date: January 09, 2017; Published Date: January 11, 2017

Citation: Kumar RV, Kanna GR, Elumalai S (2017) Biodegradation of Polyethylene by Green Photosynthetic Microalgae. J Bioremediat Biodegrad 8:381. doi: 10.4172/2155-6199.1000381

Copyright: © 2017 Kumar RV, et al. This is an open-a ccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Conventional methods of polyethylene degradation including incineration, landfill and chemical treatment are lethal to the neighboring environment by causing hazardous effects on living organisms. A better solution for the complete degradation of polyethylene has not yet been formulated. However, to solve this global issue biological mode of polyethylene degradation may be evaluated and developed in the upcoming future. In this research investigation, microalgae like green algae, blue-green algae and diatoms were isolated from the domestic polyethylene bags dumped in the suburban water bodies and studied for its potency on deterioration of polyethylene. The dumped waste polyethylene bags were collected from three different sites of (Maduravoyal, Vanagaram and Poonamallee) Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Colonized mat of microalgae were isolated from the polyethylene sheets and the most dominant three different groups of microalgae were selected for the biological treatment of LD (low density) and HD (high density) polyethylene sheets. The most dominant microalgae were Scenedesmus dimorphus (Green microalga), Anabaena spiroides (blue-green alga) and Navicula pupula (Diatom). The T. S. (Transverse section) of polyethylene sheet has shown the proliferation of microalgae in both outer and inner sides of the polyethylene sheet and the erosion cum degradation can be seen obviously. The biological treatment of the selected microalgae on the LD and HD polyethylene sheets with their respective culture media resulted that the microalgae proliferated more on the LD than the HD polyethylene sheets followed by the highest percentage of degradation was obtained from Anabaena spiroides treatment (8.18%). Similarly, among the three microalgal groups treated over the LD polyethylene sheets. The scanning electron microscopical study reveals that the degradation was obviously evident in the treatment of LD polyethylene sheets using the microalga Anabaena spiroides (filamentous blue-green alga) and was found to grow feasibly rather than the other microalgae.