Projects

STEP 1

STEP 1

Identification of the mechanism producing the effect of plastic biodegradation

When a thin film (20-­‐30 µm) of PE is placed in contact with the biological agent the area in touch results vanished. The PE film in contact is clearly vanished.

We found that the chemical structure of the plastic is altered: the resilient chemical bond Ch2-CH2 is broken, with formation of the compound ethylene glycol. (reference to the paper). The breaking of this chemical bond is key to this discovery. The main goal is to identify the molecule responsible for this breakage.

“We found that the chemical structure of the plastic is altered: the resilient chemical bond Ch2-CH2 is broken, with formation of the compound ethylene glycol.”

STEP 2

Mass production of the molecule responsible for the effect

The speed of the process points to an enzymatic activity produced by the biological agent.

Once identified (see 1), our target is a large-scale production of the molecules, using genetic engineering techniques.

step2

The speed of the process points to an enzymatic activity produced by the biological agent.

step3

STEP 3

Production and commercialization of the ethylene glycol the by-product derived by PE biodegradation

Production of ethylene glycol as a consequence of the PE bond breakage adds value to the mechanism. In fact, the by-product can be utilized instead of being simply discarded, being ethylene glycol one of the major agents used as antifreeze.

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