Scientists Invent Bacteria That Can Eat Degrade Plastic And Transform It Into Carbon Dioxide And Water
300 million tonnes of plastic is generated every year worldwide and just 10% gets recycled. For ages, scientists have been trying to find viable ways and means to end the curse of plastic put upon our planet. Plastic has been choking our oceans and killing marine life yet man has not yet woken up to this modern menace. Fortunately, as with the evolution of science, there is hope yet to find ways and means to contain its disastrous growth. Now two young scientists have discovered a unique method to transform plastic into different chemical compounds and water.
1Two students have discovered the unthinkable
Two students have discovered a method to transform plastic into other useful chemicals, compounds, and water. Along with other discoveries of a similar nature, if such a concept could be worked out to a commercial application, it could make a huge difference to the world’s plastic pollution problem.
2Meet the scientists
The scientists in question are Jeanny Yao 21 and Miranda Wang 22 who have been relentlessly working on the project for several years. Scientists found a way of upcycling the plastic pollution in compounds that could actually be valuable for the textile industry which can use the compounds and biosurfactants generated in the process.
3It involves genetically modified bacteria and turning them into plastic killers
The process involves bacteria that have been modified by genetic engineering to break down plastic polymers like polystyrene and polyethylene film. After they are chemically broken down, the bacteria then turns them into organic compounds after which they undergo further biological conversion into products that can be used for industries like textiles.
4They also gave a TED talk on the project
The young scientists also gave a TED Talk where they presented their research. The work earned recognition from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who awarded them five prestigious prizes for their efforts. The pair were also awarded several entrepreneurship awards for their discovery and acquired more than 300,000$ in funding.