The University of Edinburgh Overgraduate iGEM team this year is looking at making bioplastics. We want to look at a more innovative source for useful biodegradable plastics. Our plastic of choice is called poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) or PHBV. We are looking at using by-product from whisky distilleries, namely pot ale, to produce this plastic. PHBV holds a lot of promise because of its physical properties and can fit into the current plastic market and by using bio-mass, waste, or secondary carbon sources we are looking to decouple plastic production from petroleum. PHBV can also be biodegraded unlike most currently used plastics reducing the amount of devastating waste thrown into the environment. To create this plastic, we are trying to introduce enzymes into Escherichia coli to facilitate this production of PHBV efficiently.
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