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Digital Biology & BiotechRobotics

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The problem with plastic is that most of it is not biodegradable. It does not decompose like paper or food, so instead it can hang around in the environment for hundreds of years, harming humans, animals, and habitats. We produce about 400 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items. It is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic litter in the oceans and seas than fish and marine life. We want to change that. We decided to use the bacteria (e.g. Enterobacter asburiae, Bacillus species) to decompose plastics. Each waste is scanned with an IR spectroscope and redirected automatically to the appropriate boxes based on the spectrum. In the initial stage, it is mechanically crushed, exposed to high temperature and UV radiation to accelerate the degradation process. Then the proper type of bacteria for the respective plastic is added, and the bacteria decompose the waste into ethyl glycol. The combination of several degradation mechanisms (photodegradation, thermodegradation and biodegradation) will accelerate the depolymerization process.

Crew members

Kinga Gruszka
Marek Rauchfleisz
Oliwia Raniszewska
Wiktoria Sadowska