Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET — a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tons of plastic bottles. PET plastics can persist for hundreds of years in the environment and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide.
According to VOA, “Recently, the world was stunned to learn that an island of mostly plastic trash, floating in the Pacific Ocean, grew to the size of France, Germany and Spain combined. Because plastics take centuries to decompose, could civilization someday choke in it? Scientists at Britain’s University of Portsmouth say they may have found a way to speed up the decomposition of plastics”.
A team of Chinese scientists have developed a large-scale transparent smart window that can change light intensity while effectively capturing the particulate matter in smog, a study said.
The study published on Saturday in the journal iScience described a simple solution-based process to fabricate large-area flexible transparent windows with Ag-nylon electrodes for high-efficiency PM2.5 capture, reports Xinhua news agency.
It takes only 20 minutes to fabricate 7.5 square metres of Ag-nylon flexible transparent windows showing an optical transmittance of over 86 per cent, according to the group of scientists led by Yu Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).
The Ag-nylon mesh can not only change the indoor light intensity, but also purify indoor air as a high-efficiency PM2.5 filter.
The scientists found that the obtained Ag-nylon electrodes could be used as an ideal intelligent thermochromic smart window with excellent mechanical stability.
It remains stable after undergoing a bending test with 10,000 bending cycles with a minimum bending radius of 2.0 mm.