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What does it break the plastic down into? Like, are the by products toxic?
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^ The obvious way is to have plastic recycling centers like the food waste recycling centers we have now. The plastic will be taken to the center and put with the enzyme in digestion tanks. If the enzyme gets 'loose' it will be a disaster . Just imagine all plastic items disintegrating in front of your eyes. Doors, window frames ,car components , computer keyboards, furniture. All gone.
It's a good sign but you have to look at the yield of the process.

Also, these things work only on the surface of the materials, not deep within the body of the material.

That means you have to grind the plastic waste into small particles, then put it into a vat or broth of the stuff, in order to let the micro-organisms (or enzyme, as the case might be) do their thing.

Then you have to see if a micro-organism can survive and reproduce in the broth, even when it is mixed with the waste products.

So you have to know what the by-products are, and whether it is easy/possible to get rid of that. You have to know how long it takes for the enzymes or micro-organisms to break down the plastic.

Enzymes are easier to deal with than micro-organisms. There is less concern that they will be poisoned by the waste products, but the yield issue is still likely to be a big issue

So it is a step on the way, but definitely not the complete answer yet.

PS - greetings from Chengdu, China. Just debating whether to pay a guide to take me out to see some pandas on Thursday, or stay in the hotel and do some work...


It only "eats" PET at the moment Eddie, so our new plastic warships should be safe.
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^ It breaks the plastic down into what it was made from in the first place oil .( As in crude oil from oil wells.)
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PET is a subtype of Polyethylene .So if it eats that it will soon be modified to eat all thermoplastic.
All very interesting and if managed right, very promising!
Eddie - I very much doubt it breaks PET down intocrude oil.
The bottle are made from polyester terephthalate (PET) - made by reacting terephthalic acid with ethylene glycol.

http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pet.html

It doesn't appear to specify in the article, but my guess would be that it breaks the polymer chains converting the co-polymer into monomers which could then be re-polymerised.
^^polyethylene terephthalate ^^ not polyester - doh!
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'Plastic Warships' are actually a Carbon Fibre Laminate /Resin construction,not really Plastic at all.
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Aye, but two wrongs don't make a right.
The ones in my bath are !
OG - ducks as well or have you grown out of them?
Early doors just yet but promising for the future.

What does the broken down waste get used for? What are the pitfalls and dangers of its use etc. That's what has to be shown now though.
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There are very obvious problems .But this is the biggest breakthrough in plastic disposal for decades.It is very early ,the enzyme has only just been discovered. Years of work ahead.
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