Plastic-eating enzyme could eliminate billions of tons of landfill waste

Journal Reference: Hongyuan Lu, Daniel J. Diaz, Natalie J. Czarnecki, Congzhi Zhu, Wantae Kim, Raghav Shroff, Daniel J. Acosta, Bradley R. Alexander, Hannah O. Cole, Yan Zhang, Nathaniel A. Lynd, Andrew D. Ellington, Hal S. Alper. Machine learning-aided engineering of hydrolases for PET depolymerization. Nature, 2022; 604 (7907): 662 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04599-z This discovery, published today … Read more

Methane from waste should not be wasted: Exploring landfill ecosystems

Journal Reference: Mark C. Reynolds, Damien Finn, Analissa F. Sarno, Richard Allen, J. David Deathrage, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz. Delineating the Drivers and Functionality of Methanogenic Niches within an Arid Landfill. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2022; DOI: 10.1128/aem.02438-21 While most landfill methane is captured and flared away, researchers hope instead to make use of this … Read more

Solution to world’s largest waste stream: Make sand

Concrete, asphalt, glass, electronic chips: sand has many applications. Composed of small mineral particles, this granular material comes from sensitive dynamic environments such as seas, beaches, lakes and rivers or, from static land-based environments such as ancient river deposits and rock quarries. It is estimated that 50 billion tons of sand are used each year. … Read more

Mild, oxygen turn waste plastics into useful benzoic acid

Journal Reference: Sewon Oh, Erin E. Stache. Chemical Upcycling of Commercial Polystyrene via Catalyst-Controlled Photooxidation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2022; 144 (13): 5745 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c01411 Styrofoam egg cartons, hard plastic compact disc cases, red drinking cups and many other common products are composed of polystyrene, which makes up a third of landfill waste … Read more

Treated plastic waste good at grabbing carbon dioxide

Journal Reference: Wala A. Algozeeb, Paul E. Savas, Zhe Yuan, Zhe Wang, Carter Kittrell, Jacklyn N. Hall, Weiyin Chen, Praveen Bollini, James M. Tour. Plastic Waste Product Captures Carbon Dioxide in Nanometer Pores. ACS Nano, 2022; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.2c00955 What seems like a win-win for a pair of pressing environmental problems describes a Rice University lab’s … Read more

Fuel from waste wood

Journal Reference: Kristian Melin, Harri Nieminen, Daniel Klüh, Arto Laari, Tuomas Koiranen, Matthias Gaderer. Techno-Economic Evaluation of Novel Hybrid Biomass and Electricity-Based Ethanol Fuel Production. Frontiers in Energy Research, 2022; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2022.796104 In this context, offcut materials from the area of forestry are used together with hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced by separating water … Read more

Trial use of soybean waste to tackle obesity

Journal Reference: Natsumi Ichikawa, Li Shiuan Ng, Saneyuki Makino, Luo Lin Goh, Yun Jia Lim, Ferdinandus, Hiroyuki Sasaki, Shigenobu Shibata, Chi-Lik Ken Lee. Solid-State Fermented Okara with Aspergillus spp. Improves Lipid Metabolism and High-Fat Diet Induced Obesity. Metabolites, 2022; 12 (3): 198 DOI: 10.3390/metabo12030198 Through laboratory experiments reported in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Metabolites in … Read more

Upcyling polyester could reduce plastic waste

Journal Reference: Curt Waltmann, Carolyn E. Mills, Jeremy Wang, Baofu Qiao, John M. Torkelson, Danielle Tullman-Ercek, Monica Olvera de la Cruz. Functional enzyme–polymer complexes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022; 119 (13) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2119509119 Instead of renewing a commitment to recycling techniques that can only be used once on certain plastics, researchers have … Read more

New enzyme discovery is another leap towards beating plastic waste

Journal Reference: William M. Kincannon, Michael Zahn, Rita Clare, Jessica Lusty Beech, Ari Romberg, James Larson, Brian Bothner, Gregg T. Beckham, John E. McGeehan, Jennifer L. DuBois. Biochemical and structural characterization of an aromatic ring–hydroxylating dioxygenase for terephthalic acid catabolism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022; 119 (13) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2121426119 They have characterised … Read more

Energy-harvesting wearable device made from recycled waste

Journal Reference: Bhaskar Dudem, R. D. Ishara G. Dharmasena, Raheel Riaz, Venkateswaran Vivekananthan, K. G. U. Wijayantha, Paolo Lugli, Luisa Petti, S. Ravi P. Silva. Wearable Triboelectric Nanogenerator from Waste Materials for Autonomous Information Transmission via Morse Code. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2022; 14 (4): 5328 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c20984 Scientists have unveiled a wrist device … Read more