Engineered Microorganisms now able to directly produce Bioplastics for 3D-Printing

07/07/2016 - 2 minutes

Carbios made a breakthrough in the production of PLA, a common bioplastic. The lactic acid used as molecular ‘building blocks’ were already bio-sourced, but now the plastic can be really produced from scratch with microorganisms. 

carbios bioplastic pla fermentation enzymesBioplastics are one of the ways GreenTech is trying to save the world. Some success stories are Bio-On’s potato plastics and Avantium’s Coca-Cola deal.

There are several ways a plastic can be ‘bio‘. For example, polylactic acid (PLA) is considered a bioplastic because its molecular building blocks (monomers) are bio-sourced. Lactic acid can be produced via fermentation with bacteria.

However, producing this popular bioplastic still required chemical processes to link the monomers together. This meant an expensive intermediary step was needed to condense molecules lactic acid into a lactide. After this, it still needed to be purified and chemically polymerized to finally get PLA.

Now, Carbios has pioneered a new way to make microbes produce PLA directly.

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