New institute to focus on plastic recycling

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France – Carbios, a French green chemistry company based in Clermont-Ferrand, hads developed a strategic alliance with INSA Toulouse through the internationally recognized laboratory, Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI).

Carbios is establishing, with TBI, a research centre for enzymatic engineering, which will focus on plastic recycling and biosynthesis.

The cooperative laboratory, called PoPLaB (Plastic Polymers and Biotechnologies), is the culmination of seven years of scientific collaboration. This collective work led in 2016, to the creation of Carbiolice, Carbios’s subsidiary, dedicated to PLA biodegradation and in 2019, to the first 100 percent PET plastic bottles produced through Carbios’ biorecycling process.

Carbios also announced that it is becoming a member of the INSA Toulouse Foundation, an initiative that strengthens the links between the two entities. The Foundation makes a significant contribution to the training and international openness of students and scientific executives specifically with the creation of a program, Biotechnologies and Environment.

“The creation of this laboratory represents several years of fruitful research devoted to the discovery and optimization of enzymes for the degradation and synthesis of polymers,” said Prof. Alain Marty, scientific director of Carbios.

“This laboratory will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment in enzyme modeling and understanding of plastic hydrolysis molecular mechanisms, high-throughput enzyme evolution platforms, all based on highly qualified researchers. This will enable us to take up new challenges by enlarging the range of polymers accessible to our enzymatic technology.”

Carbios is a green chemistry company whose innovations meet the environmental and sustainable development challenges facing manufacturers. Since its creation in 2011 by Truffle Capital, the company has developed, through biotechnology, two industrial processes that revolutionize the biodegradation and recycling of polymers. These innovations, a world first, optimize the performance and life cycle of plastics and textiles by exploiting the properties of highly specific enzymes.

Carbios created the joint venture Carbiolice in September 2016, in partnership with Limagrain Ingredients and the SPI fund operated by Bpifrance. This company, of which Carbios has majority control, will exploit the first technology licensed by Carbios by producing enzymatic granules to produce biodegradable and biobased plastics.