Biodegradability of degradable mulching film in a laboratory-controlled composting test

Xuemei ZHANG, Yaxi HUANG, Deqiang LI, Zicheng WEN, Baoxun SUI, Zhiyong LIU
414 139


A series of degradable films was prepared, and 2 formulas of polyethylene (PE) films with the highest degradable performance were experimentally determined. These films contained 3.43% and 0.44% stearate, and were denoted as PE-3 and PE-4, respectively. Their biodegradability was studied in a laboratory-controlled composting test using ordinary PE film (OPEF) as a control. Contrast composting experiments indicated that the biodegradability of untreated samples was very low, and that the biodegradation rates of PE films after natural aging were significantly higher. FT-IR analysis showed that OPEF changed little after the composting experiment, and that PE-3 and PE-4 showed a carbonyl absorption peak at 1720 cm-1, whose intensity increased with increased composting time. Analysis of the viscometric-average molecular weight revealed that it changed little for untreated film but significantly decreased for aged films, especially PE-3, after the composting experiments.


Resulting polyethylene film, biodegradability, composting

Full Text:



Rauf, A.; Baloch, M. K.; Durrani, G. F. J. Chem. Soc. Pakistan. 2010, 32, 168–171.

Gautam, R.; Bassi, A. S.; Yanful, E. K. Appl. Biochem. Biotech. 2007, 141, 85–108.

Briassoulis, D.; Dejean, C. J. Polym. Environ. 2010, 18, 384–400.

Zhao, C. X.; He, W. Q.; Liu, S.; Yan, C. R.; Cao, S. L. J. Arg - Environ. Sci. 2011 , 30, 1616–1621.

He, W. Q.; Yan, C. R.; Zhao, C. X.; Chang, R. Q.; Liu, Q.; Liu, S. J. Arg - Environ. Sci. 2009, 28, 533–538.

Zhang, J. H.; Jiang, P. A.; Shen, Y. X.; Wang W. G.; Su H. Y. Xinjiang. Agr. Sci. 2010, 47, 1656–1659.

Zhang, X. Q.; Gozukara, Y.; Sangwan, P.; Gao, D.; Bateman, S. Polym. Degrad. Stabil. 2010, 95, 2309–2317.

Wang, Y. Z.; Yang, K. K.; Wang, X. L.; Zhou, Q.; Zheng, C. Y.; Chen, Z. F. J. Polym. Environ. 2004, 12, 7–10. Siotto, M.; Sezenna, E.; Saponaro, S.; Innocenti, F. D.; Tosin, M.; Bonomo, L.; Mezzanotte, V. J. Environ. Manage. 2012, 93, 31–37.

Tosun, I.; Gonullu, M. T.; Arslankaya, E., Gunay, A. Bioresource Technol. 2008, 99, 6143–6149.

Ganjyal, G. M.; Weber, R.; Hanna, M. A. Bioresource Technol. 2007, 98, 3176–3179.

Siotto, M.; Tosin, M.; Innocenti, F. D.; Mezzanotte, V. Water Air Soil Poll. 2011, 221, 245–254.

ASTM D6400 Standard specification for compostable plastics. ASTM: West Conshohocken. 2004.

ASTM D6868 Standard specification for biodegradable plastics used as coatings on paper and other compostable substrates. ASTM: West Conshohocken. 2003.

UNI EN 13432 Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation-test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging. 2002.

Aminabhavi, T. M.; Balundgi, R. T. Polym. Plast. Technol. Eng. 1990, 29, 235–262.

Scott, G.; Wiles, D. M. Biomacromolecules. 2001, 2, 615–622.

Grif?n, G. J. L. Polymr. Degrad. Stabil. 1994, 45, 241–247.

Huang, Y. Y.; Jia, X.; Li, D. Q.; Shang, J. J.; Zhang, X. M.; Wang, J.; Liu, Z. Y. J. Shihezi University. 2012, 30, 239–242.

Orhan, Y.; Buyukgungor, H. Int. Biodeter. Biodegr. 2000, 45, 49–55.

Sastry, P. K.; Satyanarayana, D.; Rao, D. V. M. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 1998, 70, 2251–2257.

Khabbaz, F.; Albertsson, A. C. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2001, 79, 2309–2316.

ISO 14855-1 Determination of ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions-Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide. 2004.

ISO 10390 Soil quality-determination of pH. 2005.

APHA-AWWA-WPCF 2540 E Fixed and volatile solid ignited at 550 ◦ C. 19

APHA-AWWA-WPCF 2540 D Total suspended solid dried at 103-105 ◦ C. 19

ASTM D2216 Standard test method for laboratory determination of water (moisture) content of soil and rock by mass. 1998.

ASTM D5373 Standard test methods for instrumental determination of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen in laboratory samples of coal and coke. 2002.

Leejarkpai, T.; Suwanmanee, U.; Rudeekit, Y.; Mungcharoen, T. Waste Manage. 2011, 31, 1153–1161.

Seeba, M.; Servens, C.; Pouyet, J. J.Appl. Polym. Sci. 1992, 45, 1049–1056.