Research: Microbes in cow stomachs break down plastic – science البلاستيك

Plastic is notoriously difficult to break down, but Austrian researchers have found that bacteria in cows’ stomachs can digest some species.

Scientists already suspected that the bacteria could be beneficial, because the cow’s feed contains natural vegetable polyester. The study’s authors believe that if they could break down similar materials, the microbes might also be able to handle the plastic.

The setup was simple: Three types of polyester were screened using rumen fluid from a nearby slaughterhouse. In addition to the popular PET, there have been two types of biodegradable plastic that are often used in biodegradable plastic bags.

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According to their results in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology All three types of plastic are broken down by microorganisms from a cow’s stomach. Plastic powder breaks down faster than flakes.

The research was conducted on a laboratory scale only, but lead researcher Doris Rebisch of the University of Vienna is optimistic. “Given the large amount of tripe that accumulates daily in slaughterhouses, it is easy to imagine this expansion,” she says.

Scientists already suspected that the bacteria could be beneficial, because the cow’s feed contains natural vegetable polyester. The study’s authors thought that if they could break down similar materials, microbes might also be able to handle the plastic, and the setup was simple: Using liquid from the rumen from a nearby slaughterhouse, three types of polyester were studied. In addition to the popular PET, there have been two types of biodegradable plastic that are often used in biodegradable plastic bags. According to their findings in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the three plastics are broken down by microorganisms from the stomach of the cow. Plastic powder degrades faster than metallic foil, and the research has only been done on a lab scale, but lead researcher Doris Rebic from the University of Vienna is optimistic. “Given the large amount of tripe that accumulates daily in slaughterhouses, it is easy to imagine this expansion,” she says.

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