The global crisis associated with the total pollution of the planet and especially the oceans of plastic waste continues to grow. Scientists around the world are actively exploring solutions to this problem — and today we can already speak about some successes.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth and the National renewable energy laboratory U.S. Department of energy discovered an enzyme — PETase that decomposes plastic (PET) waste. The researchers decided to further explore its properties, in particular a crystal lattice.

Using the synchrotron in a laboratory Diamond Light Source in the UK, which makes it possible to see individual atoms inside the structure of the enzyme, they began to irradiate them with x-rays, 10 billion times superior in brightness to the sun. As a result, managed to create a 3D model PETase with high resolution.

It was discovered that PETase able to destroy another kind of polyethylene – furandicarboxylic (PEF), which replaces the glass beer bottles. The team continues to work to improve the effectiveness of an unusual enzyme.

Professor John Machinescasino article:
Discovered the bacteria that feed on plastic akademiastan — University of Portsmouth