Plantastic to replace petroleum-based plastics one day?

Research breakthrough opens possibility of plant-grown plastics

found on Core77 on 16. November 2010

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You need petroleum to make plastic. But as reported in Plastics News, researchers from Dow AgroSciences and the US Department of Energy have managed to develop a plant that can grow fatty acids that could potentially be used to produce plastic, perhaps reducing the need to drill down for the goopy stuff.

In theory, plants could be the ultimate ‘green’ factories, engineered to pump out the kinds of raw materials now obtained from petroleum-based chemicals, according to the researchers….

“We’ve engineered a new metabolic pathway in plants for producing a kind of fatty acid that could be used as a source of precursors to chemical building blocks for making plastics such as polyethylene,” said Brookhaven biochemist John Shanklin, who led the research.

Perhaps the resultant material will be called Plantastic.


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