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April 4th 2017 Science and Technology Current Affairs

Scientists identified A Fungus species that eats plastic

Scientists identified a soil fungus,Aspergillus tubingensis that can rapidly break down the plastic materials.

  • Aspergillus tubingensis, a fungusthat ordinarily lives in the soil.
  • Researchers during their experiment have found that it can grow on the surface of plastics.
  • They identified that the Aspergillus tubingensissecretes enzymes that can break the bonds between the plasticmolecules or the polymers.
  • The Aspergillus tubingensis releases these enzymes to their surrounding environment,e., onto the surface of the plastic or polymer that they are living.
  • Another interesting fact is that the fungus uses its mycelia physically to break the polymers which are rarely observed in fungal species.
  • This fungal specieswas found in Pakistan.
  • Millions of tons of plastic waste isbeing releasedinto the environment by the Humans.
  • This discovery will help in waste treatment as the plastic material have averyhigh half-life and are takes years to degrade or decompose naturally.

Scientists developed a new biofuel ‘Grassoline’

Scientists have developed a biofuel from grass and named it as ‘grassoline.’

  • Researchers have investigated various methods that can disintegrate and grass into
  • Due tothe abundance, thegrass is chosen by the researchers as the perfect source of energy.
  • To improve the biodegradability grass is pre-treated and then bacteria are allowed to convert the sugars present in the grass to lactic acid(LA) and derivatives of LA.
  • This LAcan be used as an intermediate molecule to produce various other compounds like biodegradable plastics (PLA) or fuels, etc.
  • This LA can be converted into caproic acid, and further treatment will convert it into decane.
  • Decane can be use das fuel in theaviation industry.

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