Issue 15, 2023

Mechanoenzymatic reactions for the hydrolysis of PET


Recent advances in the enzymatic degradation of poly(ethylene terphthalate) (PET) have led to a number of PET hydrolytic enzymes and mutants being developed. With the amount of PET building up in the natural world, there is a pressing need to develop scalable methods of breaking down the polymer into its monomers for recycling or other uses. Mechanoenzymatic reactions have gained traction recently as a green and efficient alternative to traditional biocatalytic reactions. For the first time we report increased yields of PET degradation by whole cell PETase enzymes by up to 27-fold by utilising ball milling cycles of reactive aging, when compared with typical solution-based reactions. This methodology leads to up to a 2600-fold decrease in the solvent required when compared with other leading degradation reactions in the field and a 30-fold decrease in comparison to reported industrial scale PET hydrolysis reactions.

Graphical abstract: Mechanoenzymatic reactions for the hydrolysis of PET

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Article information

Article type
15 Mar 2023
20 Mar 2023
First published
29 Mar 2023
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2023,13, 9954-9962

Mechanoenzymatic reactions for the hydrolysis of PET

E. Ambrose-Dempster, L. Leipold, D. Dobrijevic, M. Bawn, E. M. Carter, G. Stojanovski, T. D. Sheppard, J. W. E. Jeffries, J. M. Ward and H. C. Hailes, RSC Adv., 2023, 13, 9954 DOI: 10.1039/D3RA01708G

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