Biodegradability of Polylactic Acid Fabrics by Enzyme Hydrolysis and Soil Degradation

  • Lee, So Hee (Department of Clothing and Textiles, Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2017.11.16
  • Accepted : 2017.12.18
  • Published : 2017.12.27


The biodegradability of polylactic acid(PLA) fabrics was evaluated by two methods: enzyme and soil degradation. Three different enzymes were selected to evaluate. Degradation times were measured at optimal enzyme treatment conditions. Biodegradation by enzymatic hydrolysis was compared with soil degradation. As a result, biodegradation created cracks on the fiber surface, which led to fiber thickening and shortening. In addition, new peak was observed at $18.5^{\circ}$ by degradation. Moreover, cracks indicating biofragmentation were confirmed by enzyme and soil degradation. By enzyme and soil degradation, the weight loss of PLA fabrics was occurred, there through, the tensile strength decreased about 25% by enzyme hydrolysis when 21 days after, and 21.67% by soil degradation when 60 days after. Furthermore, the biodegradability of PLA fabrics by enzymatic and soil degradation was investigated and enzymatic degradation was found to be superior to soil degradation of PLA fabrics. Among the three enzymes evaluated for enzymatic degradation, alcalase was the most efficient enzymes. This study established the mechanism of biodegradation of PLA nonwovens, which might prove useful in the textile industry.


Supported by : Gyeongsang National University


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