Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental
Print version ISSN 0188-4999
PONCE ANDRADE, Graciela Ibeth et al. Scanning electronic microscopy evidence of phenol-formaldehyde resins biodegradation with ligninolitic fungi. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.2, pp. 159-166. ISSN 0188-4999.
Synthetic polymers are growing environmental concern because they are generally nondegradable and recent research has been focused on the biological treatment of plastic wastes and the development of biodegradable plastics. Plastics are classified into two broad types: thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Phenol-formaldehyde resins (PF resins) are included in the thermosetting plastic category. They are products that once formed cannot be soften, therefore the process for recycling cannot be applied and they cause an environmental problem. Through intensive study of white-rot fungi it has been determined that these organisms produce extracellular enzymes with very low substrate specificity and intense oxidative activity. This makes them suitable for degradation of many different compounds notably organopollutants with structural similarities to lignin. The object of this work was to demonstrate, using scanning electron microscopy, that ligninolitic fungi have the capacity to degrade PF resins. The results showed that the fungi Bjerkandera adusta, Pleurotus ostreatus, Phanerochaete chrysosporium and Sporotrichum pulverulentum can degrade the PF resins.
Keywords : Phenolic resins; biodegradation; White-rot fungi; Bjerkandera adusta.