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Heat-friendly microbes provide efficient way to biodegrade plastic

Researchers in China have engineered a microbe that shows promise as the foundation of an efficient way to break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic fiber used to manufacture clothing and disposable consumer products. The researchers published their findings in Microbial Biotechnology on April 28, 2020. The research team at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led by Associate Professor Liu Yajun, Ph.D., aimed to create a strain of the bacteria called Clostridium thermocellum (or C. thermocellum) that would degrade PET more efficiently than current industry bio-methods. They had their sights set on C. thermocellum because of its potential to thrive in hot, oxygen-free environments.  Read more....

 

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