The Closure of the Cycle: Enzymatic Synthesis and Functionalization of Bio-Based Polyesters

Abstract

The polymer industry is under pressure to mitigate the environmental cost of petrol-based plastics. Biotechnologies contribute to the gradual replacement of petrol-based chemistry and the development of new renewable products, leading to the closure of carbon circle. An array of bio-based building blocks is already available on an industrial scale and is boosting the development of new generations of sustainable and functionally competitive polymers, such as polylactic acid (PLA). Biocatalysts add higher value to bio-based polymers by catalyzing not only their selective modification, but also their synthesis under mild and controlled conditions. The ultimate aim is the introduction of chemical functionalities on the surface of the polymer while retaining its bulk properties, thus enlarging the spectrum of advanced applications

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