FEB 20, 2020 12:00 PM PST

Methane-fueled Commerical Production of Biodegradable Plastics in Sight

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Plastics, the petroleum-based, very poorly degradable polymers, make up almost everything in our society from water bottles, food packing, disposable utensils to medical supplies, automobile parts, and electronics. 

Scientists are working against the clock to come up with substitutes before plastic wastes jampack our landfills and smear over the oceans.  Among many alternatives, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) stand out due to their biodegradability in the natural environment. These microbe-derived polyesters are products of bacterial fermentation of sugars or lipids, and they serve as both a source of energy and a storage place for carbon in microorganisms.

The eco-friendly nature makes PHAs prime candidates for making bioplastics. Mango Materials, a San Francisco-based startup, took the idea one step further: they produce PHAs using methane, a potent greenhouse gas and omnipresent waste in sewages and landfills, as feedstock. 

Although their production is still in the early phase, the company is working on scaling up the processes. If they succeed in mass production of the PHAs-based bioplastics, the plastics industry will soon see transformative revolution.

Source: Seeker via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MIT Scientists Found the Causes Behind Dull Blades
AUG 21, 2020
MIT Scientists Found the Causes Behind Dull Blades
The reason why we replace our shaving blades so often is because no matter how sharp they start as they eventually get d ...
SEP 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Nuclear Pioneers Joined Force to Fast-Track Clean Energy Tech
SEP 03, 2020
Nuclear Pioneers Joined Force to Fast-Track Clean Energy Tech
Last week, TerraPower, a Bill Gates-backed nuclear startup, announced its latest project - a collaboration with GE Hitac ...
SEP 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
New photodectector can see the full light spectrum
SEP 22, 2020
New photodectector can see the full light spectrum
New research from a team at RMIT University highlights the development of a hyper-efficient broadband photodetector that ...
OCT 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Improving optical fiber data transmission with silica glass made under high pressures
OCT 22, 2020
Improving optical fiber data transmission with silica glass made under high pressures
Researchers collaborating from Hokkaido University and The Pennsylvania State University show that producing silica glas ...
OCT 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Expanding on Einstein's theory of time dilation
OCT 23, 2020
Expanding on Einstein's theory of time dilation
Research published recently in the journal Nature Communications considers the influence of the quantum mechanics c ...
NOV 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
NOV 12, 2020
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
On August 4, a megascale explosion almost leveled half of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. At the center of the negl ...
Loading Comments...