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Surviving Hard Times

May 31, 2024

Ramani Narayan joins the podcast today to discuss a fascinating subject: How fungus and bacteria can consume and alter plastic waste. Ramani is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University. As an internationally acclaimed thought leader and expert in bioplastics, his research focuses on manufacturing biobased and compostable plastics.

Not only does Ramani have over 200 refereed publications and 30 issued patents, but he is also a successful entrepreneur – having commercialized several biobased and biodegradable product technologies, including PLA and starch products.

What are the benefits of biodegradable polymer molecules? Could Ramani be on the precipice of finding a sustainable solution to the world’s plastic crisis? Tune in now to find out…

In this episode, we talk about:

  • What carbon-carbon backbone polymers are, and how they are used in modern products.
  • The role that enzymes play in the degradation of plastics. 
  • How and why microbes consume carbon molecules. 
  • How chemicals can alter the makeup of plastics. 

Click here to learn more about Ramani and his research!

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: