FTIR Analysis of Biodegradation of Polystyrene by Intestinal Bacteria Isolated from Zophobas Morio and Tenebrio Molitor
Since the 1970s, polystyrene (PS) plastic marine pollution has become a global concern. Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas morio beetle larva actively respond to a diet of primarily polystyrene. The tantalizing evidence indicates that the gut bacteria of these beetle larva enables them not only to consume polystyrene, but to successfully biodegrade polystyrene. Heretofore, data collection to verify polystyrene degradation by the gut bacteria of these larva has taken up to six months per test. Our laboratory created a platform by dissolving PS into a liquid mineral culture medium to examine PS degradation by the gut bacteria. Under investigation, PS works as main carbon source supporting the growth of gut bacteria. Fourier-transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is an effective method which can provide relevant information on chemical changes. This study presents a methodology using FTIR and Visible Light Spectrometry as an efficient methodology to verify the physiological degradation of polystyrene.
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