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Plastic circular bioeconomy: from PET waste to innovative
bioactive POLYMERS - PET2POLY project

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Building blocks from PET

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Innovative bioactive polymers

The PET2POLY project

The ambitious goal of the Pet2poly project is to recover microplastics present in rivers and lakes, and to convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into high-value-added materials.

Microplastics are particles smaller than 1 millimeter found in commercial products or generated from the fragmentation of larger plastic pieces. These fragments escape normal recovery and recycling processes, accumulating mainly in aquatic ecosystems, where they not only harm the organisms that inhabit them but also enter the food chain, ultimately threatening human health.

The Protein Factory 2.0 will produce a bacterial strain capable of converting microPET into vanillin, which, besides being a high-value compound itself, is the starting point for the sustainable production of new polymers with antimicrobial properties.

The Pet2poly project represents a way to limit the negative effects on the environment and public health generated by the uncontrolled release of microplastics into aquatic ecosystems. The outreach initiatives associated with the project will also increase society's awareness of the need for sustainable and circular plastic management.

PI: Gianluca Molla 

 

Fundings: PRIN 2022 to GM

 

Collaborations:

  • Professor Lorella Izzo (Polymer Chemistry and Sustainable Catalysis group, Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences of the University of Insubria);

  • Dr. Rosa Zullo (Water Research Institute of the CNR in Verbania);

  • Dr. Valentina Marturano (Institute of Composite Polymers and Biomaterials of the CNR in Pozzuoli).

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