Announcement: Guest Lecture in April!

We are happy to welcome our friend Gregg T. Beckham for a guest lecture on Recent advances in biological plastics upcycling on Thursday, 8th of April 2021, at 2 p.m. (UTC +1).

This talk will focus on recent efforts from the US Department of Energy-funded BOTTLE Consortium of potential interest to colleagues in the MIX-UP project, focused on biological solutions to plastics upcycling.
In particular, Gregg Beckham will briefly review his joint work with the University of Portsmouth on the Ideonella sakaiensis PETase and MHETase system (Austin et al. PNAS 2018; Knott, Erickson et al. PNAS 2020, Erickson et al. forthcoming). Recently, they have conducted supply chain modelling to quantify the supply chain energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the consumption of commodity plastics. These data can serve as a key benchmark against which new recycling technologies can be quantitatively compared to ensure that they provide energy and climate benefits relative to incumbent, linear economy practices (Nicholson, Rorrer et al. Joule 2021). Additionally, this talk will review a study (Singh et al., forthcoming) that employs techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment, and socio-economic assessment of enzymatic PET recycling. This work overall predicts substantial potential economic, environmental, and socio-economic benefits relative to virgin PET manufacturing. Time permitting, Gregg will remark on ongoing metabolic engineering efforts to couple enzymatic or chemo-catalytic deconstruction of PET to biological conversion of the deconstruction products as well as the need for rigorous substrate characterization in the burgeoning field of plastics upcycling.