What bores holes in styrofoam

Discussion in 'Materials' started by markstrimaran, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. markstrimaran
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    markstrimaran Senior Member

    20190618_171741.jpg 20190618_171746.jpg It is from the inside of a catamaran hull. Freshwater?
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You may have discovered something that eats plastic !
     
  3. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Some mealworms eat polystyrene foam when this is all they can get, and then we can eat the mealworms, I'll guess...

    ‘‘ Polystyrene—most familiarly produced as foams, including Styrofoam—has given the world cheap, lightweight insulation and containers for taking food to go. But the material biodegrades so slowly that it can sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. A new finding points to a potential solution: Mealworms will dine on polystyrene foam when they can’t get a better meal, converting up to 48% of what they eat into carbon dioxide. ’’

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    ‘‘ Mealworms chow down on expanded polystyrene foam and can convert almost half of what they eat into carbon dioxide. ’’

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    ‘‘ Bacteria inside the mealworm gut can degrade the recalcitrant plastic polystyrene. ’’

    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

    ‘‘ Plastic-eating mealworms may offer solution to our growing garbage problem ’’

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  4. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Mark's post #1 holes look like the work of ants to me, maybe we can eat those too...

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    ‘‘ small ants in bathroom, insulation sheets holes in rigid foam insulation ’’

    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

    ‘‘ Florida carpenter ant, bull ant, Tortugas carpenter ant - scientific names: Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) and Camponotus tortuganus (Emery) (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Subfamily Formicinae: Tribe Camponotini) ’’

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    ‘‘ Major workers of Camponatus ’’

    ‘‘ Florida carpenter ants seek either existing voids in which to nest or excavate only soft materials such as rotten or pithy wood and Styrofoam. ’’
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  5. BlueBell
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    I have seen ants just riddle the stuff.
    Pink, blue, they don't care.
    Powder everywhere.
    Tunnelling it would appear, not eating.
     
  6. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Found some pics taken of the walls of a perspex ant farm container posted on an myrmecology forum.

    My Iridomyrmex Styrofoam Colony Iridomyrmex Myrmecology Ant-keeping Formicarium

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    P.S. —

    Those here shown tunnels on the outside could be (partly ?) pre carved in the Styrofoam by the myrmecologist, where the queen ant was put on a visual spot, because the purpose of this all is to observe the processes in the starting ant colony.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  7. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    The plastic is inert. Most of it passes right thru them and comes out as 'micro plastics' tiny fragments of polymers that are a bigger problem than big chunks of it.
     
  8. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Neither of the so far mentioned animals pass polystyrene foam right thru and poop polystyrene powder. The posted mealworms, the larval form of the mealworm beetle, eat and digest polystyrene foam through bacteria inside their guts and live on it when they have nothing else, but they would rather eat decayed wood or wheat flour. The posted ants excavate tunnels in polystyrene foam and nest in it, they don't eat the polystyrene foam, they cut it into powder to move it out of their nests and tunnels.

    Chickens do pass polystyrene foam right thru after crushing it with stones in their stomach, which grinding they do with all the stuff that goes in there, but those polystyrene foam eaters were not discussed here yet.



     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  9. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Go look up "micro plastics" and why they are bad.
     
  10. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    There's no question nor discussion about that, the question was what bores holes into styrofoam. The post #4, #5, #6 probably causing ants of the in post #1 pictured styrofoam holes aren't working for the environment in this matter, but the in post #3 posted mealworms are, the bacteria inside mealworm guts break down chemically the polystyrene foam, and those farmed mealworms live on these breakdown products, when having nothing else to eat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  11. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    You are the one who diverged this thread into mealworms and supposed breakdown of polystylrene. Its very unlikely that mealworms ( or chickens) are responsible for the OP's damage. Which is what his question was.
    And since you went there, Go read beyond fluff pieces by people trying to promote or wish that they can use bugs to get rid of their trash. Only a percentage of the plastic is broken down by digestion the rest passes thru them and becomes microscopic pieces of plastic and other chemicals, some of which are toxic chemically and micro-structurally. The subject animals (mealworms) do not 'live' on the sytrofoam. They rapidly die of starvation and cannibalism if that is their only source of "food".
     
  12. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    When you're posting nonsense you're usually going all the way down to the bottom James so no surprise there, I've never said that mealworms caused the post #1 damage, but did in post #3 answer one of the possibilities as asked for in the question in the thread title, in post #4 I've posted my thoughts about the damage as shown in post #1, you've posted in post #7 the remark that ‘‘it passes right thru them and comes out as 'micro plastics'’’ which I've answered in post #8 that this is not the case here, but that chicken do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  13. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    And your intolerance of any one else's opinion or facts that contradict you isn't a surprise either.
     
  14. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    It's not about the facts James, it's about the nonsense you post in your opinion without any reservations that it's just about your opinion, which you can't stand to be corrected, and then keeps nagging about it.

    Everybody has the right to an own opinion, but nobody has the right to make up own facts.
     

  15. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Who's nagging? Yeah, you are.

    Please go inform (or something) yourself.
     
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