The grass is greener

Research conducted at York University into using plants to clean up the pollution caused by explosives has received an award from the US government. Scientists at the university’s Centre for Novel Agricultural Products have discovered microbial enzymes that they claim can break down pollution from certain types of explosives that pose environmental and health risks.

Using its findings, the group has teamed up with Washington University to genetically engineer plants that can clear up pollution left in the soil on military training ranges by exploded ordnance.

This work has received the Project of the Year award by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Programme of the US
Department of Defense. The team is now working on different methods of making the process of breaking down explosives more effective and is currently experimenting with different species of grass.