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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Engineered Microbes can make Bioplastics now can replace Non-biodegradable Plastics for Tomorrow!

Culture of Lactobacillus casei, a bacteria that produces lactic acid (CC 2.0 AJC) and the chemical steps to go from lactic acid to lactide and then polylactic acid. (Courtesy: LabBiotech)

Carbios made a breakthrough by making bioplastic and those too using microbes. The lactic acid is used as molecular building blocks for such plastic but now this methodology can be used to build plastics from scratch by microbes.

There are several kinds of bioplastics are now available in the market. Polylactic acid (PLA) is one such kind of bioplastic and its monomers can be biosourced. Lactic acid which is the building block can be produced itself by bacteria with fermentation.

Still the bioplastic requires require chemical processes to link the monomers together, i.e. it needs an enormous intermediate step to condense them to lactide. After this the compound needs to be purified and polymerized to form PLA.

Now Carbios allows the engineered microbe to convert the whole process directly.  The technological breakthrough allows the original metabolic pathway to be carefully engineered into the bacteria to provide a 100 percent PLA polymer with high molecular weight.

This green technology can grow and estimated to increase by 28% until 2018 replacing non-biodegradable plastics.


Source:  LabBiotech
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