A possible role of Tween 80 in the polyethylene degradation by manganese peroxidase (MnP) and the basis of the MnP action in the absence of hydrogen peroxide were investigated. The MnP activity in the system was retained its maximum level for 6 days in the presence of Tween 80. Tween 20 and CHAPSO stabilized MnP in the system similarly to Tween 80, and these surfactants also promote the polyethylene degradation. The system containing malonate buffer, Mn(II), and MnP produced Mn(III) in the absence of hydrogen peroxide, but the effect of Tween 80 addition on Mn(III) production in the absence of hydrogen peroxide was small. The results show that Mn(III) is generated by the MnP action initiated and amplified by the decomposition of malonate by Mn(III) and that a surfactant such as Tween 80 is required to stabilize MnP in the system.
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