Optimized laccase systems for high-value bio-plastics production from biomass (OXYPOL)

Summary

These days, the bio-based plastics market is in rapid growth, and bio-based plastic products will more and more replace petroleum-based plastic products, leading to reduced CO2 emissions and therewith a positive environmental impact. The use of biocatalysts (enzymes) in the bio-plastics production value chain has the potential to add largely to this positive impact as it may substitute toxic chemical catalysts in processes using to produce polymers from bio-based feedstock. Lignin is the largest available source of aromatic building blocks for bio-based aromatic derivatives, and its abundance, e.g. from the pulp and paper industry, makes it a highly interesting potential source for novel aromatic chemicals and polymer precursors that may be polymerized by chemical and biocatalysts. The OXYPOL project addresses the bio-based plastics value chain using biocatalysis for the degradation of lignin into aromatic building blocks and the subsequent controlled polymerization of these aromatic precursors into bio-based polymers. Highly efficient laccase mediator systems (LMS) based on abundant potential low-cost mediator compounds directly derivable from selected lignin preparations will be developed, applying enzyme engineering strategies. In combination with
improving enzyme-recycling approaches for LMS involving immobilization on polymer particles and whole-cell biocatalysis, we aim at breaking crucial bottlenecks in the application of LMS based biocatalysis towards large scale industrial applications in bio-plastics production. OXYPOL is a pan-European endeavour integrating complementaryscientific excellence and market driven R&D competence of the totally 8 academic, institutional and commercial project partners, aiming at making an impact on the biocatalysis-based bio-plastics production, with positive implications for the European bio-economy.

Details

Project number

053.80.723

Main applicant

Prof. dr. K.U. Loos

Affiliated with

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Team members

Dr. C. Fodor, Dr. C. Fodor, Dr. C. Fodor

Duration

01/05/2015 to 01/05/2018