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Current issue

ELEKTRO 10/2018 was released on September 26th 2018. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Topic: Electrical power engineering; RES; Batteries and accumulators; E-mobility

Main Article
Smart Cities (part 1 – volume 1)

SVĚTLO (Light) 5/2018 was released on September 17th 2018. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Interiors lighting
Luminaire selection by the concept of interior
The unique book about interiors nowadays on market
Invitation on colloquium Interiéry 2018 – exceptional action for the seventh time

Newsreel
Profesor Jiří Habel passed away – memories remain

A step toward biodegradable plastics

11.11.2016 | MIT News | news.mit.edu

MIT chemists have determined the structure of a bacterial enzyme that can produce biodegradable plastics, an advance that could help chemical engineers tweak the enzyme to make it even more industrially useful.

The enzyme generates long polymer chains that can form either hard or soft plastics, depending on the starting materials that go into them. Learning more about the enzyme’s structure could help engineers control the polymers’ composition and size, a possible step toward commercial production of these plastics, which, unlike conventional plastic formed from petroleum products, should be biodegradable.

Biodegradable plastic

The enzyme produces different types of polymers depending on the starting material, usually one or more of the numerous variants of a molecule called hydroxyalkyl-coenzyme A, where the term alkyl refers to a variable chemical group that helps determine the polymers’ properties. Some of these materials form hard plastics, while others are softer and more flexible or have elastic properties that are more similar to rubber.

The new structural information yielded by this study will have little impact on cost but may open up the possibility of other new materials and applications.

Read more at MIT News

Image Credit: MIT News

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