Vanilla Bean Holds Key To Decomposing Plastic On Demand

Nov. 8, 2022
The process is designed to address “end of life” issues.

A team of researchers from two universities say they have developed a process to decompose plastic on demand in an effort to address global microplastic pollution, according to an article from the Sentinel Tribune. A chemical found in the extract of a vanilla bean reportedly provides the key to the degradability.

According to the article, vanillin is a renewable biomass material that features a “photo-trigger,” which will degrade plastic when exposed to a specific wavelength of light. Currently, about 65% of the material is recovered through the degradation process in a controlled lab setting. The discovery is the result of years of research by Jayaraman Sivaguru, a chemistry professor at Bowling Green State University and two North Dakota State University professors, Mukund Sibi and Dean Webster.

Read the entire article here. 

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