Enzymatic Plastic Recycling Factory
Claudio Schwarz @ unsplash.com
In this facility different kinds of plastic are processed and recycled using unique enzymes, supporting a circular and bio-economy transition. The plastic must be collected and brought to controlled factory environment.
In a bioreactor, the improved PET hydrolase approach requires around 50 degrees Celsius and 10 hours to take place, which uses less energy and time than other current methods. This enzymatic process allows PET, the world's second most used plastic, to be biologically recycled, catalyzing its depolymerization into monomers. The resulting monomers can then be mixed with an enzymatic additive to create fully compostable non-toxic zero-residue PLA for trays, films, or other packaging. Different kinds of waste, such as transparent, colored, or opaque plastic, as well as complex packaging and textile fibers, can be processed in this factory.
Research is being conducted to find more efficient and scalable plastic-eating enzymes and bacteria for different kinds of polymers. Also, machine learning methods are being employed to find or even genetically engineer these solutions.