A Massachusetts based company, Metabolix, just figured out how to grow plastic inside a plant.
By mixing the genes of a few different species Metabolix was able to coax switch grass into growing it's proprietary bioplastic in significant amounts right it's leaves! The new plastic, which we'll just call PHA (because we don't want to write polyhydroxybutyrate a bunch of times,) can be used in manufacturing everything from credit cards to packaging materials.
The advantage here over other bioplastics is that all of the chemical processes occur within the plant. There is no need for polymerization or complex chemistry after harvesting. Just cut the grass, get rid of the plant matter, and you've got plastic.
And, of course, the advantage over traditional plastics is that it doesn't come from petroleum, which we're starting to run out of.
Their aiming to get the plastic into commercial production by 2012.
written by Jean, August 13, 2008
written by Yoshi, August 14, 2008
written by Jean, August 14, 2008
written by Julian Gomez, August 16, 2008
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