Home Materials Engineered Microorganisms now able to directly produce Bioplastics for 3D-Printing

Engineered Microorganisms now able to directly produce Bioplastics for 3D-Printing

Commonly bioplastics like PLA were produced with the help of different chemical processes. Even if no mineral oil was used for the process it couldn’t be seen as green technology. These chemicals are harmful for the environment and very expensive to dispose. Carbios has now developed a new technique which is easier, cheaper and most important better for the environment!

PLA is often used in the food industry for packaging and different other products. But most of our readers will know PLA as a material used for FDM/FF 3D printing. It´s easy to work with and affordable.

bioplastic-polylactic-acid-pla-fermentation-chemistry
Culture of Lactobacillus casei, a bacteria that produces lactic acid (CC 2.0 AJC) and the chemical steps to go from lactic acid to lactide and then polylactic acid.

To make this eco friendly process possible Carbios has developed microbes that produce the PLA and could replace the harmful chemicals. The result is a 100% PLA polymer of high molecular weight (i.e. a long chain). With these technique Carbios could produce cheaper PLA because they replace the expensive chemicals in the production process. The researchers say that the same method could be used for the production of other plastics like PHA. The new technique was developed with the help of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the Institute National Des Sciences Appliquées Toulouse (INSA). The same teams are working a method of endless recycling of PET plastic.