So there really are Polyestermites?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Ike, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Scientists find bug that feasts on toxic plastic
    A bacterium that feeds on toxic plastic has been discovered by scientists. The bug not only breaks the plastic down but uses it as food to power the process.

    The bacterium, which was found at a waste site where plastic had been dumped, is the first that is known to attack polyurethane. Millions of tonnes of the plastic is produced every year to use in items such as sports shoes, nappies, kitchen sponges and as foam insulation, but it is mostly sent to landfill because it it too tough to recycle.

    Scientists find bug that feasts on toxic plastic https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/27/scientists-find-bug-that-feasts-on-toxic-plastic

    Found this today in the Guardian. Maybe they have really found a way to get rid of plastics? Who knows, could be an elaborate April Fools joke.

    Here's a link to the report in Frontiers in Microbiology Toward Biorecycling: Isolation of a Soil Bacterium That Grows on a Polyurethane Oligomer and Monomer https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00404/full
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There have been other, similar stories of microbes that eat plastic of some kind, one can see that being potentially a two-edged sword.
     
  3. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Certainly could. Eat your hull right out from under you.
     
  4. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    But upon reflection, that's been the situation with wood and metal boats forever.
     
  5. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    Wont happen to a boat hull, the plastic particles need exposure to the environment to be eaten, and they are sealed up in layers and also paint.
    But the free floating ocean plastic is not, so ought to be eaten eventually.
     
  6. A II
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    A II Junior Member

    The topic was discussed on the Materials section of these forums, in the thread: What bores holes in styrofoam

    But there it got kinda out of control between believers and unbelievers in the subject, despite the posted links to scientific papers which the existence and the functioning of the phenomenon scientifically explained and proved, as well as links to articles and videos of practical empirical testing that demonstrated the existence of the phenomenon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020 at 12:17 AM

  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    I hear it's worse in Polyesternesia.
     
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