Sugar-based acrylic glass

An interesting development from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) is the manufacture of polymethyl methacrylate, also known as acrylic glass, made from natural sugars, alcohols or fatty acids using a certain enzyme called 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase.

The scientists involved in the project discovered the enzyme in a newly isolated bacterial strain they found while searching for bacteria to break down the pollutant MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether).

It is expected that will take about four years to establish the bacterial system in pilot plant for natural acrylic glass manufacture.

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