Amazon fungi found that eat polyurethane, even without oxygen

Plastic Bags in Landfill Samuel Mann via Flickr To the multitude of arguments for protecting rainforest biodiversity, here's a new addition: An Amazonian fungus could eat our most durable landfill waste. A group of students from Yale found the fungus during an expedition to Ecuador and learned it breaks down polyurethane. This plastic is one of those modern chemical compounds found in so many products, it's pointless to count - from Spandex to garden hoses, for a start - and it is prized for both its flexibility and rigidity. The problem is that like many other polymers, it does not break down readily. This means it persists in landfills, as Fast Company points out. It burns pretty well, but that releases carbon monoxide and other gases into the atmosphere, so it's a nonstarter in most situations. Something that can degrade it naturally would be a better solution. The fungus called Pestalotiopsis microspora can subsist on a diet of polyurethane alone, and do so in an anaerobic environment, according to the

Amazon fungi found that eat polyurethane, even without oxygen

(PhysOrg.com) -- Until now polyurethane has been considered non-biodegradable, but a group of students from Yale University in the US has found fungi that will not only eat and digest it, they ...

Fri 3 Feb 12 from Phys.org

Horror movie-type mushroom found that devours plastic

]]>You may have heard, but there are some folks out there who aren't too pleased with all the plastic we have in clogging our landfills and killing our wildlife. Luckily, now all these anti-our-giant-and-oh-so-necessary-3-friggin'-liter-bottles-of-sugar-water ...

Fri 3 Feb 12 from Dvice

Students discover fungus that loves to eat plastic

Plastic is a wonderful thing. It encases our gadgets, helps keep our food fresh, holds our water, and carries our data, as well as having a multitude of other uses. But there is one major problem ...

Thu 2 Feb 12 from Geek.com

Amazonian Rainforest Fungus Eats Polyurethane, Potentially Solving a Big Landfill Problem

Plastic Bags in Landfill Samuel Mann via Flickr To the multitude of arguments for protecting rainforest biodiversity, here's a new addition: An Amazonian fungus could eat our most durable landfill ...

Wed 1 Feb 12 from Popular Science

Fungus from the Amazon devours plastic

Students from Yale University have made the amazing discovery of a species of fungus that devours one of the world's most durable, and therefore environmentally troublesome, plastics: polyurethane. ...

Thu 2 Feb 12 from Mongabay.com

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