China develops eco-friendly plastic from salmon semen

China has developed eco-plastic from salmon semen

Chinese scientists have developed an environmentally friendly analogue of salmon semen plastic. At Tianjin University, they took two short strands of DNA from salmon semen, combined them with a vegetable oil chemical that works like glue, to create a soft material – ” hydrogel. From this hydrogel, after freeze-drying to remove moisture that causes it to harden, the researchers created a cup and puzzle pieces.

Salmon semen does not need to be used to make this plastic. DNA is found in every living organism on earth, so many other sustainable sources, such as crop waste, algae or bacteria, are technically suitable as starting material.

Biodegradable plastics have been created in the past using materials such as cornstarch and algae, but they require a lot of energy to make and are difficult to process.

Submerging objects from this material in water again creates a gel that is easy to process. And when the plastic is no longer needed, it can be broken down by DNA-digesting enzymes.

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