menu

Plastic-Eating Fungi Found In The Amazon May Solve World’s Waste Problem

Plastic-Eating Fungi Found In The Amazon May Solve World’s Waste Problem
Innovation

The micro-organism can survive on polyurethane alone, which could provide a solution to our mounting garbage accumulation.

Emma Hutchings
  • 7 march 2012

A group of students and professors from Yale University have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade and utilize the common plastic polyurethane (PUR). As part of the university’s Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory educational program, designed to engage undergraduate students in discovery-based research, the group searched for plants and cultured the micro-organisms within their tissue.

Several active organisms were identified, including two distinct isolates of Pestalotiopsis microspora with the ability to efficiently degrade and utilize PUR as the sole carbon source when grown anaerobically, a unique observation among reported PUR biodegradation activities.

Polyurethane is a big part of our mounting waste problem and this is a new possible solution for managing it. The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment. The Yale University team has published their findings in the article ‘Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi’ for the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.

Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi

+amazon
+Environmental / Green
+Market Research
+plastic waste
+rainforest
+Science
+Sustainability
+technology
+Yale

The Latest

Event

To move beyond novelty activations and one-time gimmicks, PSFK equips marketers with the insights, templates and analytics to develop high-reach campaigns that meet consumers in the moment, collect and build upon experiential data, and build scale through content creation.

October 18, 2017
Video

At PSFK 2017, Studio Industries CEO Mike Lee teleported us in a time machine to the grocery store of the future, where experiences will reign over products

September 27, 2017
No search results found.