Berkely Lab produces a podcast about the surprising ways that science evolves. Through conversations with scientists, they trace the technology, theories, and products we see around us today back to early discoveries in the lab, while also imagining where future breakthroughs could take us.
We are delighted to introduce Dr. Brooks Abel who joined the College of Chemistry as an assistant professor this summer with a focus in polymer chemistry. Brooks’s position was funded by a generous donation from Rubber and Joy Chen of PMP Tech, an international company based in Taiwan.
Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually – equivalent to the entire weight of the human population. Less than 10% is recycled; most end up in landfills. A research team in the lab of Professor Ting Xu, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and...
With moderate heat, enzyme-laced films of the plastic disintegrated in standard compost or plain tap water within days to weeks, Ting Xu and her colleagues
“Biodegradability does not equal compostability,” says Xu, a polymer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She often finds bits of biodegradable plastic in the compost she picks up for her parents’ garden. Most biodegradable plastics go to landfills, where the conditions aren’t right for them to break down, so they degrade no faster than normal plastics.
While plastic bags clog the waste stream, recycling them isn’t financially attractive, since they’re usually turned into very low-value products. If polyethylene packaging could be processed into high-value products, more of them would be recycled instead of ending up in landfills. (photo: Adobe Stock)
Editors from ACS Central Science and Nature Chemistry have weighed in on new and major chemical research trends in a webinar from C&EN. Experts Chris Chang, a senior editor with ACS Central Science and chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stu Cantrill, the chief editor of Nature Chemistry are interviewed. Chang picked advances in protein degraders for his big trend of 2019. Cantrill chose advances in the chemical recycling of plastics for his trend of the year.