NREL selected for space-bound research to solve the plastic waste dilemma

Read the full story from NREL.

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will send an engineered bacteria into space as early as next year as part of ongoing research into solving the problem of plastic waste mitigation on Earth.

Deconstructed plastics, using the NREL oxidation platform, will be flown to the International Space Station (ISS), where astronauts will conduct an experiment involving bacteria engineered to upcycle oxidized plastic. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) selected the NREL project as part of the ISS National Laboratory Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics. The beauty brand Estée Lauder is providing financial backing for the challenge, with costs going to ISS National Laboratory partner Rhodium Scientific to provide engineering and flight support.

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