Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract Since the early 1970s, it has been known that exposure of poly(caprolactone) (PCL) to a variety of microorganisms results in biodegradation of this polymer. Besides the ability of PCL to be utilized as a carbon source for microorganisms, it has been demonstrated that, during degradation, carbon dioxide is generated. Soil burial and compost experiments have shown that chain scission of the PCL backbone occurs, mechanical properties of articles prepared from PCL are reduced rapidly, and significant weight loss occurs in a short time period. This inherent biodegradability of PCL, in combination with its ability to be converted by conventional extrusion equipment, allows for the preparation of biodegradable articles that have utility.
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