Using “green technology” to solve the “white pollution” problem

Latest News: With the promulgation of the national “14th Five-Year Plan for Bioeconomic Development”, biotechnology has high hopes for “plastic reduction”. But for a long time, the production capacity of biodegradable bioplastics has been a problem due to cost and technology. A few days ago, Nanjing University of Technology and Tichuang Biotechnology (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Tichuang Bio) reached a cooperation to lay out a million-ton biodegradable bioplastic project, which has attracted industry attention.

Biodegradable polymers usher in development opportunities

“This time we are deploying a bio-based PBS project that is rare in China, and it is expected to achieve mass production by the end of the year.” Jiang Min, chief scientist of the cooperative project, professor and doctoral supervisor of Nanjing University of Technology, said that due to the sharp increase in demand and oil resources Due to the non-renewable properties of bio-based PBS, the development space of bio-based PBS is huge.

PBS is a fully biodegradable polymer that can be degraded under the action of bacteria or enzymes in nature, and is regarded as a “potential stock” in environmentally friendly materials. According to the source of raw materials, it can be divided into two categories: petroleum-based PBS and bio-based PBS.

Industry research shows that about 1 trillion plastic bags and 200 billion plastic bottles are used globally every year. During the epidemic prevention and control period, the global plastic packaging market has grown from US$909.2 billion in 2019 to US$1,012.6 billion in 2021. The “white pollution” caused by plastic products has the characteristics of high processing difficulty, difficult recycling and long period of environmental damage. Biodegradable plastics are regarded as the latest solution to “white pollution”.

With the mandatory gradual escalation of garbage classification and “plastic restriction orders” worldwide, PBS has ushered in a huge development opportunity. Jiang Min said that the current plastic product market has given enough space for alternatives to degradable plastics. “In the future, under the dual effects of policy support and cost reduction, the growth of the bio-based PBS market will be very strong.”

Schools and enterprises join forces to reduce production costs

For a long time, all-bio-based PBS was limited by cost and could not enter the market well. At present, there is no real full bio-based PBS production enterprise in China, and it is difficult to greatly reduce the cost of PBS synthesis raw materials whether they are self-produced or purchased.

Nanjing University of Technology has excellent technical reserves in the biosynthesis of succinic acid, the core raw material of bio-based PBS. Jiang Min revealed that the cost of bio-based PBS produced by Nanjing University of Technology and Tichuang Bio can directly match the cost of petroleum-based PBS.

Nanjing University of Technology eliminates the cultivation process of aerobic bacteria during the construction of succinic acid industrial strains, and can achieve “one-step anaerobicity”, thereby greatly reducing costs. In this production process, the carbon capture technology can realize the production of 1 kg of succinic acid and fix 0.37 kg of carbon dioxide, and relying on the multi-substance mass production platform of Biotron, the metabolic channels are improved through high-throughput screening to further improve production. efficiency.

It is worth mentioning that the mass production technology of bio-method butanediol can eliminate the consumption of chemical substances from succinic acid to butanediol, and directly polymerize bio-method succinic acid and bio-method butanediol into a complete product. Bio-based PBS makes production greener. Jiang Min said that the cooperation between Nanjing University of Technology and Tichuang Biology can give full play to their respective advantages, break through the technical bottleneck of laboratory transformation to large-scale production, and effectively improve product competitiveness. While reducing product costs, bio-based PBS products can be The quality and performance are continuously improved.

Scientists predict that in the future, the impact of biotechnology on human beings will far exceed that of information technology. On this “new track” of the bio-economy that has “started”, synthetic organisms that use engineering design concepts and are modified according to specific goals , which will be used to solve the problems of human food shortage, energy shortage, environmental pollution, medical health and other aspects, and is of great importance to global sustainable development.

“As a bio-manufacturing platform, Tichuang Bio is committed to becoming a green ecological infrastructure. We have always been demand-oriented, breaking the barriers between scientific research and applications, laboratories and factories, and striving to change the traditional production method from the synthetic biology model, so as to build a green and low-carbon environment. Economic contribution.” Zhang Zhiqian, founder and CEO of Tichuang Bio, said that this cooperation with Nanjing University of Technology will help achieve the “double carbon” goal and reduce environmental pollution.