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Industry : Green Packaging

A step toward biodegradable plastics

University: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Objective of study: MIT chemists have determined the structure of a bacterial enzyme that can produce biodegradable plastics

Process and applications:

  • The enzyme generates long polymer chains that can form either hard or soft plastics, depending on the starting materials that go into them
  • The enzyme polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase is found in nearly all bacteria, which use it to produce large polymers that store carbon when food is scarce
  • they have uniform molecular weight, which makes the properties of these polymers distinct


  • This structure will help people in thinking about a way that we can use this knowledge from nature to do something better for our planet

University Details

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts Know more

Professor Catherine Drennan - LinkedIn


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Biodegradable Plastics