Pivotal Role of Microbes in Solid Waste Management

S. Meena *

Department of Environmental Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India.

A. Manimekalan

Department of Environmental Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India.

Shiny Jose

Department of Environmental Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


LLactic acid bacteria (LAB) are used widely in food microbiology as probiotics and biopreservatives to extend shelf life of food items. Lactic acid produced by LAB strains are precursor of polylactic acid(PLA) that has growing demand as bioplastics that are biodegradable in nature replacing traditional plastics. LAB have the potential to utilize polysaccharides from various sources and produce lactic acid. The aim of this study is to identify lactic acid producing strains of lactic acid bacteria(LAB) that have efficiency in utilizing biodegradable fragment of domestic solid waste collected from residential areas of Coimbatore municipality for three days. The main objective of this study is to convert the biodegradable solid waste into lactic acid, a precursor of Poly lactic acid- PLA used as bioplastic. Important chemical parameters of the solid waste like phosphate estimation, nitrate estimation, Total organic carbon estimation were done following Indian standard analytical methods. Glucose consumption efficiency of Lacto bacillus sp.in solid waste substrate was analyzed in UV spectrometer at620nm by Anthrone method. Estimation of lactic acid produced was done in UV spectrometric analysis at 390nm using iron lactate formation. In this study, lactic acid bacteria were isolated from samples of milk, curd, idli batter and screened for lactic acid production. Three isolates were chosen for the study each one from milk, curd, idli batter and from biochemical tests and morphology confirmed as Lacto bacillus sp. Solid waste collected was pretreated with dilute acid heating and hydrolysate obtained was used as substrate for lactic acid production under optimized parameters. Three different substrates were chosen for lactic acid production and the results were compared. The three isolates of Lacto bacillus sp.were good producers of lactic acid and utilized biodegradable solid waste in an effective manner. 3-5 gm/lit of lactic acid was produced by the three strains of Lacto bacillus sp .Segregation of domestic solid waste collected, comprised of 40% biodegradable fragment, 40% nondegradable plastic, 20%miscellaneous waste. Lactic acid production from biodegradable portion is a preliminary step experimented in this study progressing in polylactic acid PLA pathway indirectly reducing plastic pollution. In a similar manner, nonbiodegradable plastic waste can be minimized using Exopolysaccharide pathway by Xanthomonas sp.that is reviewed in this study. Disposal of solid waste in an economical and greener way is a smart method of saving environment. Bioconversion of plastic into pseudoplastic xanthan gum by Xanthomonas sp.(through exopolysaccharide pathway) are greener techniques to crush down the accumulated plastic mountains to ground level.

Keywords: Lactic acid production, bioplastic PLA, solid waste management, pseudoplastic, bioconversion

How to Cite

Meena , S., A. Manimekalan, and Shiny Jose. 2023. “Pivotal Role of Microbes in Solid Waste Management”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (9):460-74. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i92256.


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