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Scientists develop Plastic-eating Enzyme

Plastic-eating enzyme: Scientists have created a new mutation of the enzyme called PETase. 

 

It breaks down the plastic and makes it so bacteria eat and eat it. The biggest thing is that this enzyme can do all the work of plastic even at a temperature below 50 degrees. Nowadays, plastic is used in almost everything that is available on the market. From the pen to the plane, you can’t go anywhere without it. If plastic is useful, it is also the biggest threat to the environment. The reason is that it doesn’t end on its own. Plastic takes centuries to decompose naturally. The biggest problem for scientists so far has been the disposal of the mountain of plastic waste that is in the world. But now scientists and chemical engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have created such a thing that dissolves and eliminates plastic within a few hours. This thing is an enzyme. It is expected that these enzymes will rid the earth of the greatest environmental problem. This University of Texas discovery was published in the scientific journal Nature. The enzyme scientists have chosen to melt plastics is called PETase. 

 

They created the new mutation from a natural enzyme called PETase using a mechanistic model. This enzyme breaks down the plastic molecules and makes them so that the bacteria eat and eat them. The biggest thing is that FAST-PETase is an enzyme that can do all the work of plastic even at a temperature of less than 50 degrees. 

 

How this enzyme works 

 

The PETase enzyme breaks the plastic down into pieces (depolymerization) and then brings them back together as chemicals (repolymerization). 

 

 

 What is special about the mechanical model that the scientists use for this work is that it can be estimated which mutation in the enzyme can quickly destroy the plastic, i.e. depolymerize it, without increasing the temperature too much. 

 

Scientists from the Cockrell School of Engineering and College of Natural Science tested the enzyme on 51 different types of plastic used in products, five different types of polyester fibers and fabrics, and water bottles. In this way the FAST PETase enzyme was produced. More effective on plastic packaging With this enzyme, scientists want to melt the most commonly used plastic. This is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). 

 

To put it simply, plastic films and plastic bottles are mostly used for packaging products. Some fibers and textiles are also made from it. This is where most of the plastic waste is generated. If we say in statistics, it accounts for 12 percent of the garbage collected worldwide. The PETase enzyme can eliminate it quickly. 

 

This enzyme has a supercharged recyclability. With its help, the side effects on the environment can be reduced by largely dispensing with plastic.

 

How important is this discovery?

It is clear that plastics take centuries to decompose themselves. In such a situation, recycling is the only way to reduce plastic waste. However, the problem is that its capacity is limited. Only 10 percent of the plastic waste produced worldwide is recycled. Plastic is burned for recycling. Not only does this cost a lot, the resulting toxic gases also pollute the environment. Aside from these other ways of recycling, it takes both longer and more energy. In such a situation, a lot of plastic should be left as it is that can be fatal for living beings

 

For 15 years Scientists have been working on it

Scientists have been trying for a long time to find such a biological solution for the disposal of plastic, so that plastic can be eliminated quickly, in addition, less energy and the cost is not too high. But despite 15 years of research, no concrete process has been found that is cheap, durable and can be used on a large scale. With the preparation of the FAST-PETase enzyme, scientists now hope that the mountain of plastic waste in the world can be easily eliminated. The pollution that spreads to land and water as a result can be reduced.

 

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