Chemists are creating ocean-friendly fishing nets
Today’s Video of the Day from the National Science Foundation describes research focused on engineering a degradable form of plastic strong enough to be used in commercial fishing nets.
To address this challenge, chemists at Cornell University have created a new polymer, isotactic polypropylene oxide (IPPO).
The plastic is very flexible but becomes stronger as it is stretched. When exposed to sunlight, the new material degrades over time.
Lab tests showed that the polymer chains degraded to a quarter of their original lengths after 30 days of exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
According to NSF, the nets, lines, and ropes used in commercial fishing make up about half of all plastic waste that ends up in the ocean.
Video Credit: National Science Foundation