Biochemists find single enzyme that can mediate three steps in the chemical process from glucose to PEF
Glucose can be turned into PEF, a green alternative for PET bottles. Biochemists from the University of Groningen (RUG) in the Netherlands have described a single enzyme that can mediate no fewer than three steps in the chemical process from glucose to PEF. The enzyme could potentially oxidize a compound called HMF (Hydroxymethylfurfural), which explains why it is called HMFO (HMF Oxide).
Glucose is partially converted into HMF when it’s heated. HMF can be oxidized into FDCA, a compound that forms the building blocks of the polymer PEF, a bioplastic. PEF has similar properties to PET, the plastic that plastic bottles and fleeces are made of (News Item RUG, 20 May 2014).
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