Engineered microbe may be key to producing plastic from plants

Photo by Chelsea Mamott, GLBRC

Biomaterials
Typography

With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable — but frustratingly untapped — bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous plastics.

Researchers, like those at the University of Wisconsin–Madison-based, Department of Energy-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, hoping to turn woody plants into a replacement for petroleum in the production of fuels and other chemicals have been after the sugars in the fibrous cellulose that makes up much of the plants’ cell walls.

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Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

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