Enzymes involved in polymer biodegradation
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Most widely used plastics are considered to be resistant to environmental factors. Degradation of most popular packaging polymer is slow and may take hundreds of years. To enhance their environmental degradation a number of different approaches, among them copolymerisation or compounding with additives susceptible to environmental factors such as polyesters are used. Enzymes involved in decomposition of polyesters are mainly hydrolases f.ex. esterases, lipases, cutinases. Research team in the Department of Biochemistry is working on polyethylene and poly(ethylene terephtalate) films modified with synthetic aliphatic polyester Bionolle? and mechanisms of their biodegradation using fungal extracellular hydrolytic enzymes.
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Bozena Nowak, Katedra Biochemii, Uniwersytet Slaski, ul. Jagiellonska 28, 40-032 Katowice, Poland