Thursday, April 16, 2015

No. 871: Reducing oil consumption for resin production with the help of coliform (April 16, 2015)

Genaris, Inc., a bio-venture company in Yokohama, is conducting research on using coliform to produce materials for semiconductors and PET bottles. This project is capable to changing drastically the energy situation in 2050. In this project, researchers are producing industrial materials from waste PET bottles with the help of coliform on trial. In the laboratory, special equipment stirs up milky liquid in a beaker, and the liquid in the beaker becomes brown in several hours. That is, coliform in the beaker got active and started to create a new substance.

Waste PET bottles can be used to produce such products as fiber. However, rumps like waste liquid are produced in the process of recycling waster PET bottles. In the rumps, major substances of PET bottles still exist. The research members are trying to instill the ability to resolve these major substances into coliform by manipulating coliform genes. They plan to use the resultant substances as raw materials for semiconductors and PET bottles.

Oil consumption for resin production can be reduced to one tenth should the recycling method that uses coliform be established. The company is confident that it is possible to produce raw materials equivalent to oil-derived raw materials with the help of plants and coliform. Coliform cannot be free from a bad image because it causes food poisoning. However, coliform is mostly harmless, and its genes can be manipulated easily because it is a single cell. Researchers are trying to change coliform to super coliform equipped with various abilities. 

A researcher is woking on rumps produced
in the process to recycle PET bottles.

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