About the dangers of plastics to the environment have already written many articles, including on our website. While regularly conducted and the development of new forms and types of material that would be less harmful to the environment. In order not to miss such materials in the future, recommend you to subscribe to our news Telegram-channel, and we will tell you about the new invention — an alternative material, which in the future may replace plastic.
Of which created an alternate plastic?
According to the edition of Eurekalert, the development of responsible employees of Aalto University and technical research Centre (VTT). Both of these companies are located in Finland. Researchers have created a really new and unique material by combining wood fiber cellulose and silk protein extracted from filaments of the web. The result is a very durable and elastic material, which can be used in the future as a possible replacement for plastic.
Nature provides the perfect ingredients for the development of new materials, such as solids and easily accessible cellulose and rigid and flexible silk, which we used in our study — said otden of the leading authors, Professor Aalto University Markus Linder. The advantage of these materials is that, unlike plastic, they are biodegradable and are not harmful to the environment.
To create plastic scientists ispolzovali birch pulp, which is “broken” into smaller cellulose nanofibers. Then, like a grid, connected in a rigid frame. At the same time, the resulting cellulose has implemented a network of adhesive matrix of spider silk. In the end, cellulae gave material softness and flexibility and a silk — strength. External pranaam new material very much like plastic.
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What is important, silk is known to be created in the wild mulberry silkworms. However, the Finnish researchers used “artificial” silk, which is produced by genetically modified bacteria with the changed DNA, programmed for the production of silk. This silk is much cheaper to produce, and the composition is not much different from the natural.
Since we know the structure of DNA, we can copy it and use for the production of silk protein molecules, which are chemically similar to those that are in the web threads, — says Professor Linder. Our work illustrates new possibilities for protein engineering. In the future we would be able to produce similar compounds with different properties.
The question may arise: but as for the production of plastic alternatives will need to massively cut down trees for the purpose of production of cellulose? Actually, no. Now scientists are actively working on finding the cheapest way of production of artificial cellulose with bacteria. Of course, a similar development is already there, but the whole process of creating alternatives plastico output should give a product, which is cheaper than the plastic itself. Otherwise a large part proizvoditley won’t even look in the direction of new technologies.