Projects

STEP 1

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.

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 molecular mechanism 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 still unknown compounds ethylene glycol.

2

Development of the biotechnology

The speed of the process points at enzymatic activities produced by the wax worm. Once identified (see 1), our target is the large-scale production of the molecules of interest, using genetic engineering techniques.

step2

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

step3

3

Identification and analysis of the by-products derived by PE biodegradation

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