By Natasha O’Neill
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Mississauga, Ont.CTV Network) — Researchers have discovered a new way to make glass that decomposes on its own and doesn’t harm the planet.
In a new study published in Science Advances on March 17, a group of researchers developed a “family” of green glass made from amino acids or peptides.
According to the study, the new biodegradable or biorecyclable glass has “a minimal environmental footprint.”
Traditional glass is made from non-biodegradable materials like methyl methacrylate.
Using a “heat-quench” technique, the researchers were able to chemically modify the amino acids to form a glass-like product. Further tests were conducted on the kinetic and thermodynamic capabilities of the glass.
Although research has shown the ability to create biodegradable glass, the researchers say mass production won’t happen anytime soon.
“The concept of biomolecular glass, beyond commercially used glasses or plastics, can be the basis of a green living technology for a sustainable future,” said YAN Xuehai, a professor at the Institute of Process Engineering at the Academy of Sciences of China, in the news release accompanying the study. “However, biomolecular glass is currently in the laboratory stage and far from commercialization on a large scale.”
More tests are needed to ensure that eco-friendly glass does not break down at high temperatures.
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