Michigan State researchers propose new method to produce bioplastics from sunlight and cyanobacteria

October 31, 2017 |

In Michigan, Michigan State University scientists are proposing a new way to economically produce biodegradable plastics with sunlight and help from an ancient microorganism. Researchers at the Ducat MSU-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory took cyanobacteria, that use sunlight to naturally produce sugar, and genetically tweaked them to constantly leak that sugar into a surrounding saltwater medium. They paired them with natural bioplastic-producing bacteria that fed on the leaked sugar. The pairing was prolific.

Processed biomass contained a near constant 30 percent bioplastic content, four times more than similar experimental systems, and production rates were over 20 times faster.

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Category: Research

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