Microbial Polymers as a Degradable Carrier for Pesticide Delivery

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Abstract

The possibility of use of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), biodegradable microbial polyesters, as a carrier for pesticides (α-hexachlorcyclohexane and lindane) for targeted and controlled delivery of these compounds to soil was investigated. The kinetics of polymer degradation and the dynamics of pesticide release from the extended-release formulations was studied. It is shown that pesticides embedded in a degradable polymer (PHA) carrier are released gradually and slowly, without surges, as the polymer is degraded by the soil micro-flora. The microbial soil component actively responded to the addition of the polymer as an additional nutrient substrate: the latter was degraded and then utilized. The rate of the pesticide release to the soil can be regulated by varying the polymer-pesticide ratio.

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