Email Print Share
July 23, 2018

Breaking Good

The discovery of a family of enzymes with an affinity for lignin -- components of plants that make them rigid and less susceptible to pathogens -- could represent a breakthrough in the recycling of plant waste and production of sustainable chemicals needed for nylon, fuels and plastics. Scientists have been trying for decades to more efficiently break down lignin into its basic chemical building blocks, and a U.S.-U.K. engineering team believes these enzymes could be engineered to be super effective at doing so.

Credit: National Science Foundation/Karson Productions

Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation.

Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.