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Sustainable Methods for Polymer Production

Synthesis of PHAs using a modified bacterial strain and click chemistry


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable plastics produced by microorganisms that can be used as substitutes for non-biodegradable, petroleum-based plastics. Because PHAs are produced by microorganisms, the monomer unit composition can’t always be controlled, hence limiting the physical properties of these PHAs.

Technology Overview

SUNY ESF researchers have engineered a new strain of Escherichia coli thatallows for the biosynthesis of PHA copolymers with virtually any desired combination of monomers, as well as the production of various types of PHAs with distinct physical properties.

Additionally, click chemistry reactions can be used to further expand functionality of PHA polymers, such as producing fatty acids with terminal alkenes, alkynes, and azides. This expands the suite of accessible PHA polymers beyond what can be produced

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