Phyco-Degradation of Low-Density Polyethylene by Coelastrum Sp. and Phormidium Sp. Green Photosynthetic Microalgae
Statistically, Malaysia is one of the top five country that has problem in mismanaged plastics. Respective year data showed that around 0.94 million tons of mismanaged plastics that had produced by Malaysia over the year. Besides, around 0.45 million of them are plastics. Theoretically plastic is difficult to degrade while from the previous study showed that even the plastics had contact with moist soil for 32 years, they still do not show any degradation sign. This study aimed to come out with a solution where try to degrade by using biological technique by the help of microalgae in order to minimize the time required for the biodegradation to happen. It of the current trend nowadays due to it is effective technique, environmentally friendly and can be done in low cost. In this study, the biodegradation pattern of polymer by using microalgae from the coastal areas of Kuantan and Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia was determined. Sample of microalgae were collected from Taman Gelora Coast, Pekan Coast and Teluk Cempedak Coast on September 2018. The objectives of this research are to collect and identify the most suitable microalgae for the biodegradation of polymer and to analyze the biodegradation pattern of the polymer by microalgae. This study identified that Coelastrum sp. and Phormidium sp. able to degrade polymer (LDPE sample) through several stages. They are bio-deterioration, bio-fragmentation, assimilation and mineralization.
Keywords – Phyco-Degradation, Microalgae, Plastic Pollution