17 Apr '18, 5am

Research Team Engineers a Better Plastic-Degrading Enzyme

Research Team Engineers a Better Plastic-Degrading Enzyme

Research Team Engineers a Better Plastic-Degrading Enzyme April 16, 2018 A breakthrough in enzyme research led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the United Kingdom’s University of Portsmouth has led to an improved variant of an enzyme that can break down ubiquitous plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. While working to solve the crystal structure of PETase—a recently discovered enzyme that digests PET—the team inadvertently engineered an enzyme to be even better at degrading the man-made substance. Although the improvement is modest, this unanticipated discovery suggests that there is much more room to further improve these enzymes, moving scientists closer to solving the problem of an ever-growing amount of discarded plastics that take centuries to biodegrade. NREL’s Bryon Donohoe and Nic Rorrer punch ...

Full article: https://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2018/research-team-engine...

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This accidental discovery could help solve our plastic pollution crisis

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