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MSU research transforms plastic to cement

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 5/25/21

The Earth has a plastic problem, and Montana State University researchers are working to harness microbes that may solve it. While typically plastic weakens the structural integrity in cement, scientists from the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering found that plastic treated with bacteria created a bond between the two materials. They found that concrete samples with 5 percent of the bacteria-treated plastic had the same strength as traditional concrete. “This is really exciting,” said study co-author Cecily Ryan, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, in an MSU news release. “These initial results are very encouraging as we consider potential applications.”

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