CARBIOS pioneers depolymerization enzyme

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France – CARBIOS, a company pioneering new bio-industrial solutions for plastics recycling, has developed a new enzyme, which can biologically depolymerize all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste, so that it can be efficiently recycled into new bottles.

By leveraging many years of experience with a world-renowned team, Carbios and TBI are proud to have been able to increase the degradation yield of PET waste to 90 percent in 10 hours, a significant upswing from the initial degradation yield of one percent after several weeks.

This paradigm shift in how effectively PET can be recycled is leading toward a future circular economy technology applicable to all PET waste, which Carbios is proud to be spearheading.

PET is the most common thermoplastic polymer and is used to manufacture bottles, polyester clothing fibers, food containers, and various thermoformed packaging and components.

Carbios’s recycling process, the first of its kind, paves the way for recycling PET fibers, another major challenge in guaranteeing a clean and protected environment for future generations.

The discovery was recently written up in the scientific journal Nature, in an article called “An engineered PET-depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles”. The article is co-authored by scientists at Carbios and at the company’s academic partner, the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI).

“I am very proud that Nature, one of the most highly respected scientific journals in the world, has validated the quality of the research led by Carbios and TBI laboratory scientists in developing a PET recycling enzyme and a revolutionary process,” said Alain Marty, Carbios’s chief scientific officer and co-author of the article says.

“The results confirm the industrial and commercial potential of the company’s proprietary process, which will be tested in 2021 in our demonstration plant in the heart of the French Chemical Valley, near Lyon.”

Click here to read the article in Nature.