Announcement: Guest Lecture in October!

We are happy to welcome our friend Dr. Jeong Chan Joo for a guest lecture titled "Development of chemo-biological technology for cascade depolymerization and upcycling of PET plastic" on Friday, 7 October 2022, at 11 a.m. (UTC +1).

The development of chemical, biological or combined approaches for depolymerization and recycling/upcycling of plastics has been widely investigated to mitigate recent problems of plastic wastes. In contrast to polyolefin plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene, PET(polyethylene terephthalate) can be depolymerized into monomers i.e., ethylenegycol and terephthalate. Thus, the effective depolymerization and upcycling of PET using chemical or biological methods have gained great attention to reutilize PET waste as renewable carbon sources. Recently, PETases, MHEtases, and cutinases have been discovered and engineered to efficiently degrade PET into monomers for regeneration PET. However, these PET-hydrolytic enzymes still have some limitations in PET depolymerization such as low activity and solubility. Chemo- and bio-cascade depolymerization of PET can be used to overcome the limitations of biological depolymerization. In this talk, the combination of chemical catalysts and biocatalysts will be presented for the upcycling of PET into value-added chemicals such as plastic monomers or a coating agent. In particular, the use of the biocompatible chemical catalyst for glycolysis of PET, esterase for MHET hydrolysis, and engineered Escherichia coli for who-cell biotransformation of TPA into coating agent was attempted to construct a cascade one-pot reaction for PET upcycling.