Super Enzyme Capable of Speedily Breaking Down PET

The Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth announced a new discovery this week: a “super enzyme” capable of breaking down plastic to its building blocks at a rate six times faster than their previous innovations. This comes just months after French research organization Carbios announced a similar discovery, which they plan to test at a plant in 2021. While promised to be similarly speedy, Carbios’ formulation uses PET hydrolase, while the University of Portsmouth relies on a combination of PETase and MHETase—”effectively stitching the enzymes DNA together to create one long chain.” This implies, if all of the testing goes well, that PET (the most commonly used thermoplastic) could be properly recycled—and with minimal energy. Read more at CNN.

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