Microbe launches that eats CO2, extrudes biodegradable plastic material

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In Colorado, researchers from the University of Colorado have developed synthetic organisms that pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and extrudes biodegradable plastic material.

“Inventions like what we’re working on are powerful because it doesn’t require us to change our entire economy, our entire way that we consume and generate energy,” said University of Colorado Boulder Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Assistant Professor Prashant Nagpal

In a recent paper, Nagpal described a carbon dioxide capture system he and his colleagues designed based off of tiny soil organisms. “You could virtually see this in real time,” he said. “And when they can express this product out, you will just see this product floating up at the top of the reactor. So you can just skim it off.

The technology is at proof of concept stage, with aims to begin scale up later this year.