The U.S. army wants to create biodegradable bullets that grow plants

This article is shared with permission from our friends at IFL Science

As you well know, bullets are designed to kill people. So far, so bad, but the metallic compounds in them also tend to leach into the environment and kill off plants and wildlife too.

At training facilities the world over, the US Army uses live ammunition to gear up their soldiers for combat. These bullets just remain in the wild and do their damage. Deciding that enough is enough, officials are now asking for proposals to design biodegradable bullets that shall harm the environment no more.

Plant Bullets

Not only that, but they are hoping that the bullets will contain seeds, specialized for each local environment so that they will ultimately “grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.”

That’s right – not only will new plants sprout from these seed bullets, but they will help suck out dangerous chemicals from their surrounding environment. It’s certainly an ambitious concept, but not one outside of the realms of possibility. According to the official request, this type of bullet “shell” has already been tested.

“The US Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) has demonstrated bioengineered seeds that can be embedded into the biodegradable composites, and that will not germinate until they have been on the ground for several months,” it states.

Now they just need to be made into bullets that can be fired from a real weapon.

Proposals are being considered until February 8, after that, a winner will be asked to produce their biodegradable bullets for testing. As has been pointed out, these bullets are actually quite large, ranging from 40 mm varieties (essential grenades) to 120 mm mortar and tank rounds, and even 155 mm artillery rounds.

If this idea takes off, then expect to be seeing people use assault rifles to plant crops across the States. It’s a better idea than using them to cook bacon, that’s for sure.

Image Source:

http://cdn.iflscience.com/images/004ba3ef-8a12-5708-a1b6-23f563a45fb0/extra_large-1484242627-cover-image.jpg

IFL Science
Follow us

IFL Science

IFLScience provides you with awesome and strange news and information relating to science. They are dedicated to bringing the amazing world of science straight to your newsfeed in an amusing and accessible way.
IFL Science
Follow us

Discover related articles

Read. Discover. Grow.