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Research And Development Of Super ‘eating Plastic’ Enzymes In The UK
- Jul 03, 2018 -

  According to the British "independent" 16 reported that British scientists based on an enzyme (biocatalyst), created a "eat" plastic substances. New materials help recycle and reuse plastics and help solve the global problem of plastic pollution.

  The enzyme is produced by bacteria living in the recycling center of Japan. In 2016, Japanese researchers discovered this edible plastic bacteria. At that time, experts and commentators said that this is a potential way to solve the problem of plastic pollution.

  In the latest study, Professor John Mcgihan, a biologist at the University of Portsmouth, led the team to make minor adjustments to the enzymes involved in the structure of the digestive plastic, creating a "super" version of the enzyme, which "digests" the plastic far more than the substance found in nature. The researchers named it "PETase" because it can break down the PET plastic used to make beverage bottles and accelerate the degradation of these plastics (it usually takes hundreds of years). They say that new materials can help recycle millions of tons of plastic bottles by decomposing plastics into manageable lumps.

  Professor Neely Saha, a chemical engineer at London's Imperial College London, was not involved in the work. "This enzyme is very useful for recycling and reuse of plastics," he said. Although the discovery was warmly welcomed by scientists, researchers also pointed out that there was a long way to go before the enzymes were widely used in the recycling industry. Professor Douglas Kyle, a bioanalyst at University of Manchester, said: "oil derived plastics and polymers can resist degradation, and their accumulation in the environment is a plaguing problem, making the enzymes that degrade this kind of plastics continue to evolve.