Innovation R&D

Americans Produce Biodegradable Plastics from Bacteria without using Sugars

Michigan State University scientists are producing biodegradable bioplastics with sunlight and bacteria.

The first development of bioplastics from bacteria was done in 1926 by French scientist Maurice Lemoigne who developed polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from bacterium Bacillus megaterium.

Michigan State University scientists did something revolutionary. They genetically modified the bacteria so that it leaks sugar. They paired the bacteria to another bacteria that feeds on it and they created a kind of “chain reaction”. This process created a material with a high content in biopolymers.

The true innovation is that bacteria do not have to be fed with sugars from corn or beats. They will be fed with their own sugar.

The scientist research team leader Taylor Weiss says the goal is to create cheap, eco-friendly products from fuels to medicines.

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