Biobased de novo synthesis, upcycling, and recycling - the heartbeat toward a green and sustainable polyethylene terephthalate industry

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2024 Apr:86:103079. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2024.103079. Epub 2024 Feb 29.

Abstract

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has revolutionized the industrial sector because of its versatility, with its predominant uses in the textiles and packaging materials industries. Despite the various advantages of this polymer, its synthesis is, unfavorably, tightly intertwined with nonrenewable fossil resources. Additionally, given its widespread use, accumulating PET waste poses a significant environmental challenge. As a result, current research in the areas of biological recycling, upcycling, and de novo synthesis is intensifying. Biological recycling involves the use of micro-organisms or enzymes to breakdown PET into monomers, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional recycling. Upcycling transforms PET waste into value-added products, expanding its potential application range and promoting a circular economy. Moreover, studies of cascading biological and chemical processes driven by microbial cell factories have explored generating PET using renewable, biobased feedstocks such as lignin. These avenues of research promise to mitigate the environmental footprint of PET, underlining the importance of sustainable innovations in the industry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Rate
  • Industry*
  • Lignin
  • Plastics
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates*
  • Polymers
  • Recycling

Substances

  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Lignin
  • Polymers
  • Plastics