Navigation Links
Bioengineers succeed in producing plastic without the use of fossil fuels
Date:11/22/2009

A team of pioneering South Korean scientists have succeeded in producing the polymers used for everyday plastics through bioengineering, rather than through the use of fossil fuel based chemicals. This groundbreaking research, which may now allow for the production of environmentally conscious plastics, is published in two papers in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering to mark the journal's 50th anniversary.

Polymers are molecules found in everyday life in the form of plastics and rubbers. The team, from the prestigious KAIST University and the Korean chemical company LG Chem, led by Professor Sang Yup Lee focused their research on Polylactic Acid (PLA), a bio-based polymer which holds the key to producing plastics through natural and renewable resources.

"The polyesters and other polymers we use everyday are mostly derived from fossil oils made through the refinery or chemical process," said Lee. "The idea of producing polymers from renewable biomass has attracted much attention due to the increasing concerns of environmental problems and the limited nature of fossil resources. PLA is considered a good alternative to petroleum based plastics as it is both biodegradable and has a low toxicity to humans."

Until now PLA has been produced in a two-step fermentation and chemical process of polymerization, which is both complex and expensive. Now, through the use of a metabolically engineered strain of E.coli, the team , have developed a one-stage process which produces polylactic acid and its copolymers through direct fermentation. This makes the renewable production of PLA and lactate-containing copolymers cheaper and more commercially viable.

"By developing a strategy which combines metabolic engineering and enzyme engineering, we've developed an efficient bio-based one-step production process for PLA and its copolymers," said Lee. "This means that a developed E. coli strain is now capable of efficiently producing unnatural polymers, through a one-step fermentation process,"

This combined approach of systems-level metabolic engineering and enzyme engineering now allows for the production of polymer and polyester based products through direct microbial fermentation of renewable resources.

"Global warming and other environmental problems are urging us to develop sustainable processes based on renewable resources," concluded Lee. "This new strategy should be generally useful for developing other engineered organisms capable of producing various unnatural polymers by direct fermentation from renewable resources".


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Benorman@wiley.com
44-124-377-0375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New method developed by UC San Diego bioengineers gives regenerative medicine a boost
2. UC San Diego bioengineers fill holes in science of cellular self-organization
3. Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
4. Targacepts P.2b depression study succeeds: 6-point difference on HAM-D
5. Project succeeding to relocate Caspian terns
6. Nanotech companies need clear environment and health roadmap to succeed
7. CHEO RI study uses sophisticated genetic engineering to improve insulin-producing beta cells
8. Press statement on new CDC MMWR on Klebseilla pneumonia Carbapenemase-producing organisms
9. Shape changes in aroma-producing molecules determine the fragrances we detect
10. Reproducing early and often is the key to rapid evolution in plants
11. UNC scientists turn human skin cells into insulin-producing cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 The ... 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) ... guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 ... ... appointed Greg Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist ... of plant pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016 MedDay, a biotechnology company ... the appointment of Catherine Moukheibir as Chairman of its Board ... Jean Jacques Garaud , who contributed to the rapid ... immediately. Catherine started her career in strategy consulting ... London .  She held C-Suite level roles ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... The ... has been selected as one of three finalists for the European Inventor Award 2016 ... annual innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony in Lisbon on June 9th. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... BioFactura, Inc ., a biopharmaceutical research and ... Healthy investor interest drove significant oversubscription of the original $1.5M target. The ... to the advanced preclinical stages. , Chief Executive Officer and President, Darryl Sampey ...
Breaking Biology Technology: