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Scientists hope new enzyme will 'eat' plastic pollution

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:26 pm

Story : https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/16/world/plastic-pollution-science-environment-enzym





Scientists have accidentally developed a plastic-eating enzyme that may be used to combat one of the world's worst pollution problems.

Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) made the discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme found in a waste recycling center a few years ago in Japan.

They say the enzyme, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, is able to "eat" polyethylene terephthalate, PET, which was patented as a plastic in the 1940s and is used in millions of tons of plastic bottles.

Their aim was to study its structure, but they accidentally engineered an enzyme which was even better at breaking down PET plastics.







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