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Published in: Cellulose 5/2022

10-01-2022 | Original Research

Cellulose fiber biodegradation in natural waters: river water, brackish water, and seawater

Authors: Ryo Nagamine, Kayoko Kobayashi, Ryosuke Kusumi, Masahisa Wada

Published in: Cellulose | Issue 5/2022

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Abstract

Cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls, is degradable in nature. However, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that compares the biodegradability of cellulose fibers with different structures in natural waters. River water, brackish water, and seawater were collected from the Kamo River and Osaka Bay, Japan. Biodegradation of cellulose fibers with different structures and crystallinities, ramie, mercerized ramie, and regenerated cellulose fibers in the collected natural water was investigated in the dark at 20 °C for 30 days. The primary and aerobic ultimate biodegradability were evaluated by weight loss and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) tests, respectively. In the weight-loss test, cellulose fibers were found to be degraded by more than 50% in any natural water within 30 days. However, in the BOD test, biodegradation was diminished, with values of 40%, 20–30%, and 2–10% in river water, brackish water, and seawater, respectively. These results indicate that cellulose fibers are easily degraded into fine fragments, but it is difficult to cause their ultimate decomposition into water and carbon dioxide. Existence of such a tendency in the degree of biodegradation among the cellulose fibers remains unclear. The molecular weight of cellulose fibers in natural water was also measured during their degradation. The degradation behavior in river water and seawater was observed to be different from that in brackish water. The results thus obtained indicate that the microorganisms and enzymes that degrade cellulose fibers differ depending on the natural water, which influences the degree and mechanism of biodegradation.
Literature
go back to reference Edgar KJ, Buchanan CM, Debenham JS et al (2001) Advances in cellulose ester performance and applicaton.pdf.crdownload. Prog Polym Sci 26:1605–1688 CrossRef Edgar KJ, Buchanan CM, Debenham JS et al (2001) Advances in cellulose ester performance and applicaton.pdf.crdownload. Prog Polym Sci 26:1605–1688 CrossRef
Metadata
Title
Cellulose fiber biodegradation in natural waters: river water, brackish water, and seawater
Authors
Ryo Nagamine
Kayoko Kobayashi
Ryosuke Kusumi
Masahisa Wada
Publication date
10-01-2022
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Cellulose / Issue 5/2022
Print ISSN: 0969-0239
Electronic ISSN: 1572-882X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-021-04349-w