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AN ENZYME ABLE TO DEGRADE PET

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Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), joint research unit INSA Toulouse/ INRAE/ CNRS, and Carbios, a French company of green chemistry pioneering in the world of bioplasturgy, jointly publish on 8 April 2020 a cover article of the scientific journal Nature: An engineered PET-depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles.


 

The article describes the development of a new enzyme capable of biologically depolymerizing all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste and their recycling into new bottles. PET is one of the most common thermoplastic polymers on the market used to make bottles, food packaging and polyester textile fibers. The development of this new enzyme puts this technology at the forefront to initiate a real transition toward the circular economy and thus better preserve the planet from plastic pollution.

 

The Integrated Screening Platform of Toulouse (PICT-Genotoul, IBiSA) is part of the work by providing access to ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) as well as protein purification  and cristallisation equipment.

 

Bibliography

An engineered PET depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles. Tournier, V., Topham, C.M., Gilles, A. et al. Nature 580, 216–219 (2020).

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Photos bouteilles de PET par Tanvi Sharma on Unsplash