Our product, “LIGGREEN” is a new material that can laminate on paper cups to replace current paper cup laminated with petrochemical materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene. LIGGREEN is a lignin-like polymer. Cups laminated with LIGGREEN is supposed to be waterproof, heat-resistant and eco-friendly.
In liginin synthesis, monolignols react with two enzymes, peroxidase and laccase. LIGGREEN, is modelled on Picea abies, which is the most common species used in forestry and possess high content of coniferyl alcohol (G), which is the cheapest monolignol so that it can cost down our product.
We selected peroxidase gene Px16 and Px18 from Picea abies, laccase gene from Pinus taeda. Pinus taeda and Picea abies are both gymnosperms and have similar ratio of monolignols. Moreover, the reason why we choose laccase from Pinus taeda since it has highest reaction activity at pH 5.0 which is corresponded with peroxidase react with monolignol in vivo.
We produce laccase and peroxidase by modified Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) (strain: SMD1168). There are three main reasons why we select P. pastoris as our host to produce these two enzymes.
First and foremost, laccase and peroxidase are types of glycoprotein that required N-link glycosylation to modify our enzymes, so eukaryotes are more fit than prokaryotes. Second, many researches have applied P. pastoris to secrete plant enzymes, such as HRP. Last but not least, P. pastoris can yield large quantity of protein, it is exactly beneficial for us to produce our product in a large scale. Moreover, we let P. pastoris secret the enzyme by adding a secretion peptide so that we do not need to disrupt the organism in order to decrease the consumables of the following production cost.
With the help of laccase, monolignols can form dimers, which have three types of bonds: β-β, β-O-4 and β-5,or oligomers. After that, through reacting with peroxidase, they then start to polymerize, and lignin-like structure would be produced.
We consulted enterprises and professors about building a business model, including key partners, channels, cost and revenues, etc., to make our product more acceptable for our customers.