Sitemap

Microbes Discovered That Can Digest Plastics At Low Temperatures

CorD Recommends

Serbia Awards Distinctions to Notable Personalities on National Day

In a ceremonial tribute to Serbia's National...

Western Balkans Eye EU Membership by 2028

At the esteemed Munich Security Conference, a...

Serbia Eyes Stake in Thessaloniki or Piraeus Ports to Boost Exports

In a strategic move to enhance its...

Serbia and Angola Cement Cultural Bonds with New Cooperation Programme

Serbia and Angola have inked a Cultural Cooperation Programme set to span from 2024 to 2026, as announced by...

Serbia’s Zlatibor and Croatia’s Labin Unite in Tourism Pact

In a step to strengthen international ties within the tourism industry, Zlatibor from Serbia and Labin from Croatia have...

Serbia’s Agrarian Giants: The Landowners Reshaping the Countryside

A recent survey has revealed Industrija mesa "Matijević" as the leading landholder in Serbia, highlighting significant shifts in the...

Serbian Firms Clinch Deals Worth Over €8 Million at World’s Premier Organic Food Fair

At the Biofach International Organic Food Fair in Nuremberg, Serbian companies have secured contracts valued at more than €8...

EU Inaugurates Central Office for Artificial Intelligence

The European Union has taken a significant step forward in the realm of artificial intelligence by inaugurating its Artificial...

Microbes that can digest plastics at low temperatures have been discovered by scientists in the Alps and the Arctic, which could be a valuable tool in recycling.

Many microorganisms that can do this have already been found, but they can usually only work at temperatures above 30C (86F). This means that using them in industrial practice is prohibitively expensive because of the heating required. It also means using them is not carbon neutral.

Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute WSL have found microbes that can do this at 15C, which could lead to a breakthrough in microbial recycling. Their findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

Dr Joel Rüthi from WSL and colleagues sampled 19 strains of bacteria and 15 of fungi growing on free-lying or intentionally buried plastic kept in the ground for one year in Greenland, Svalbard and Switzerland. They let the microbes grow as single-strain cultures in the laboratory in darkness at 15C and tested them to see if they could digest different types of plastic.

The results showed that the bacterial strains belonged to 13 genera in the phyla actinobacteria and proteobacteria, and the fungi to 10 genera in the phyla ascomycota and mucoromycota.

The decomposition work of the microbes on this biodegradable mulch film can be seen under the microscope, Photo: Joel Rüthi

The plastics tested included non-biodegradable polyethylene (PE) and the biodegradable polyester-polyurethane (PUR) as well as two commercially available biodegradable mixtures of polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and polylactic acid (PLA).

None of the strains were able to digest PE, even after 126 days of incubation on these plastics. But 19 strains (56%), including 11 fungi and eight bacteria, were able to digest PUR at 15C, while 14 fungi and three bacteria were able to digest the plastic mixtures of PBAT and PLA.

Rüthi said: “Here we show that novel microbial taxa obtained from the ‘plastisphere’ of alpine and arctic soils were able to break down biodegradable plastics at 15C. These organisms could help to reduce the costs and environmental burden of an enzymatic recycling process for plastic.”

Read more...

The Nobel Prize Awarded For Research On Evolution

This year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Paabo for his discoveries on human evolution. Thomas Perlmann, secretary...

World Conference оn Basic Sciences аnd Sustainable Development

The World Conference on Basic Sciences and Sustainable Development, where 19 sessions were held with 68 presentations by scientists, opened at the Serbian Academy...

He said it was surprising that a large fraction of the tested strains were able to degrade at least one of the tested plastics.

The scientists also tested for the best performers and found that they were two uncharacterised fungal species in the genera neodevriesia and lachnellula, which could digest all of the tested plastics except PE.

While plastics have only been in wide use since the 1950s, microbes can degrade polymers because they resemble some structures found in plant cells.

Source: theguardian.com

Related Articles

WEF Summit Focuses on Trust Rebuilding and Global Solidarity in Tumultuous Times

At the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, leaders from across the globe convened to restore trust and foster...

Switzerland Abolishes Import Tariffs on Industrial Goods

Switzerland has abolished tariffs on the import of industrial products in an effort to reduce high consumer prices.  This means importers will no longer pay...

SSCC New Year’s Cocktail

Over 50 members of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce gathered on December 07th, 2023 to mark the New Year's festivities. At the SSCC's NY...

Swiss National Day Marked

In the resplendent setting befitting the occasion, Ambassador H.E. Urs Schmid of Switzerland hosted a celebration in honour of the Swiss National Day. The gathering...

Comment

Unlocking Full Potential For Cooperation

The flourishing trade between Serbia and Switzerland demonstrates the strength and mutual benefits of the two countries’ bilateral ties, presenting promising opportunities for deeper...

H.E. Urs Schmid, Swiss Ambassador To Serbia

Serbia Needs a More Productive Workforce

The Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s recent Business Climate Survey highlighted labour force quality and skill shortages as being among the top challenges for businesses...

Majo Mićović, President Of The Swiss-serbian Chamber Of Commerce, SSCC

Successes That Should Be Repeated

SSCC member companies are extremely satisfied that digitalisation and e-government have gained great importance within the scope of the Government of the Republic of...

Bolstering Local Governance In Serbia

The Joint UN Programme “PRO - Local Governance for People and Nature” has begun implementing activities that will contribute to improving citizens’ quality of...