Durable Plastic Pollution Easily, Cleanly Degrades With New Catalyst

2023-11-30T13:17:26-08:00November 30th, 2023|News|

Many people are familiar with the haunting images of wildlife — including sea turtles, dolphins and seals — tangled in abandoned fishing nets.

The main issue behind Nylon-6, the plastic inside these nets, carpet and clothing, is that it’s too strong and durable to break down on its own. So, once it’s in the environment, it lingers for thousands of years, littering waterways, breaking corals and strangling birds and sea life.

Now, Northwestern University chemists have developed a new catalyst that quickly, cleanly and completely breaks down Nylon-6 in a matter of minutes — without generating harmful byproducts. […]