Turn food waste into Bio-plastics
Environmental issues have always been the subject of discussion, and the pollution problem of the earth is becoming more and more serious. Especially for white pollution, as the number of people increases, the usage doubles. The seemingly convenient way has gradually accumulated into the biggest pollution problem. To solve the plastic problem worldwide, we must first clean up all plastics in the ocean, rivers, and rubbish dumps. Then we need to find an alternative that can reduce the burden on the environment. It can replace the component of polyethylene terephthalate compound with a material that can easily decompose plastic.
Australian student Arora did this. She set herself the goal of inventing bio-plastics and tried a variety of different materials, from the initial manufacture of water-soluble starch to the failed banana peel. After failing again, she turned to prawns, and she noticed the similarities between shells and plastics in the course of a journey to a local fish shop.
“These initial projects have won me more competitions. After expanding the influence, I can use better equipment in the university laboratory.” This is her influence after her early success.
After studying the ingredients of shellfish, such as lobsters and crabs, Aurora discovers that chitin exists in crustaceans, and this carbohydrate is also present in many types of insects. Aurora combines the insoluble protein present in silkworms with chitin to produce a plastic analog through chemical processing. This material can be dissolved in the earth within 33 days at open-air temperature, and its decomposition rate surpasses the million of ordinary plastics. Times.
In 2018, Arora’s invention made her win the BHP Billiton Market Innovation Award in competition with students from 81 countries at the Intel International Science and Engineering Expo. She won fourth place in the world and received a comprehensive scholarship from a famous American university. She also pointed out in a speech at TED: Australia is the largest consumer of seafood, and in cooperation with the fish market, a large amount of chitin was extracted from the shells of shrimp and crabs; and in the United States, shrimp is the largest local consumer. Every year, about 400 million pounds of shrimp are caught and supplemented by products imported from farms in various states. In the end, more than one billion pounds of shrimp will be eaten. This consumption is very surprising. From the data, we can see the development potential of new plastics, and new plastics have already attracted the attention of some companies. If the project can be vigorously promoted, the world will become more and more beautiful. The environment of the earth will be further improved.
Arora said that their main goal now is to recycle consumer waste and that several of her patents have not yet been decided, and she is now pursuing a medical degree. I hope to see her more creative inventions.