Menu

Blog

Jul 27, 2021

Scientists Develop ‘Food Generator’ That Turns Plastic Into Edible Protein

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, food

Humanity has a plastic problem, but who said the problem couldn’t also be tasty? Scientists are trying to come up with creative solutions to address the ever-growing issue every day, with some even converting plastic bottles into vanillin using bacteria. Most recently, two scientists have echoed this sentiment and won the $1.18 million (1 million euro) 2021 Future Insight Prize in the process by creating a food ‘generator’ concept that turns plastics into protein.

The names behind the project, which was initially funded by a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) cooperative agreement award for $7.2 million over four years, are Ting Lu, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Stephen Techtmann, associate professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University.

Their goal was to improve a process for converting plastic trash into protein powder and lubricants using a combination of chemicals and high heat (pyrolysis). The two scientists call their project a food ‘generator.’

Leave a reply