Is there anything we can do to get Styrofoam to break down faster?



  1. 0 Votes

    It was recently found that bacteria present in mealworm beetles can be used to hasten styrofoam decomposition, but this strategy hasn’t been adopted on a large scale. Alternative ways of breaking down styrofoam aren’t very safe. Some people try burning it, but this causes the release of styrene gas, which is harmful to the nervous system. The burn itself can also cause it to break down into toxic material. Some also claim that using lemon juice kind of melts down styrofoam–again, this will cause the leaching of styrene gas.


  2. 0 Votes

    This method is not really feasible on larger scales, and does not get rid of styrofoam altogether, but Acetone (same chemical compound that is in nail polish) will dissolve the ‘foam’ aspect of styrofoam.  If you set styrofoam into an acetone bath, it will melt into a puddle, loosening many of the chemical bonds and expelling the oxygen that was blown into it via CFC spraying.

  3. 0 Votes

    The above answers are options for existing styrofoam, and I would like to suggest that for future manufacturing, potato starch be used in place of styrofoam, much as it is for plastics. Of course, cost is the hindrance, but that may change with further support and research.

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