Monday, March 19, 2012
Fungi discovered that eats plastic
psfk reports: [edited]
A group of students and professors from Yale University have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade the common plastic polyurethane (PUR). Several active organisms were identified, including two distinct isolates of Pestalotiopsis microspora with the ability to utilise PUR as the sole carbon source when grown anaerobically.
Polyurethane is a big part of our mounting waste problem and this is a possible solution for managing it. The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment.
The Yale University team has published their findings in the article Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi for the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.