Measurement and acceleration of biodegradation in soil

Eun Jeong Kim, Tai Hyun Park, Pyong Kyun Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The quantitative and rapid method for measuring the biodegradation of polymer materials in soil was developed. In this study, cellophane film was used as a model biodegradable polymer and the biodegradation was assayed by measuring the amount of glucose which was produced by a hydrolysis reaction using HCl after collecting the film from soil. Cellophane film was degraded 41.2% in 4 months during winter while it was degraded 76.5% in 2 months during summer. It means that biodegradation in soil is affected by environmental conditions. The biodegradation was also measured in an incubator (30°C, humidity 50-55%) to exclude the environmental variations. Cellophane film was degraded 94% in that condition in 40 days. The biodegradation showed the first order kinetics and the rate constant was 0.067 (1/day). Acceleration of the biodegradation in soil was also studied. We added cultured soil microorganisms or nutrients such as N, P, and S into the soil. While the addition of microorganisms showed the temporary increase of rate constant, the addition of nutrients not only showed the increase of rate constant from 0.096 (1/day) to 0.21 (1/day) but also maintained the effect continuously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalKorean Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1998


  • Biodegradation
  • Cellophane film
  • First order kinetics
  • Reaction rate constant
  • Soil


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