Team:Imperial College/Waste Cocktail



This module primarily addresses degradation of plastics by a biological system. We will be using enzymes capable of degrading polyurethane (PUR) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These will break these petrochemical plastics down into their constituent components;

Polyurethane => Ethylene Glycol + Polyisocyanate

Polyethylene Terephthalate => Ethylene Glycol + Terephthalic Acid

The ethylene glycol will be separated from the waste media in the bioreactor by a membrane and will then be purified for resale as a component for future plastic synthesis in the existing dominant petroplastic industry. As such we will be providing a means to close the loop for petrochemical plastics, thus ensuring their continued commercial strength and simultaneously converting them into a useful byproduct with increased green credentials.

Our E. coli expressing and secreting our enzymes externally where they are degrading the plastics.

Our Sponsors

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