Polymers in the underground: on the biodegradation of synthetic polyesters in soils

Vortragender: Dr. Michael Sander, Environmental Systems Science, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Schweiz (Homepage)
Mi. 04.12.2019 (16:15), H 11 / NW I

Biodegradable plastics have been heavily used in agricultural applications for years, while the biodegradation of these materials in soils remained poorly understood on a fundamental level. This contribution will present highlights on our past and ongoing work on the key steps involved in polyester biodegradation in soils: microbial polymer surface colonisation, polyester hydrolysis by extracellular microbial esterases, and the microbial utilisation of polyester hydrolysis products. The talk will also summarise remaining knowledge gaps on polyester biodegradation in soils and present some ideas of how these can be addressed.

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The talk is part of the SFB Microplastics seminar series.

 



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