Wednesday, May 28, 2008

teenager discovers scientific breakthrough for plastic decomposition

Daniel Burd, an 11th grader from Canada thought that since plastic will eventually decompose after 1,000 years on its own--that there must be a factor causing it. For his science fair project, he looked for the naturally occurring microorganisms behind this decomposition.

Burd isolated two strains of bacteria (Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas) that work together to consume polyethelene plastic at record rates. The experiment yielded a culture of the two that rendered plastic bags 43% decomposed after six weeks-the only outputs being water and an infinitesimal amount of carbon dioxide. Thankfully, the method is inexpensive, energy efficient, and easily scalable for industrial applications. “All you need is a fermenter . . . your growth medium, your microbes and your plastic bags,” stated the young innovator. Thank goodness for the imagination and inquiry!

The Record


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Blogger Vesper de Vil said...

that's so awesome!!!

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Burd deserves a Pulitzer!

9:39 PM  

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