Discovery may lead to organic acrylic glass made from sugar
November 16, 2008
A new discovery make it possible in the future to manufacture acrylic glass from organic materials including sugars, alcohols or fatty acids.
Scientists at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) have discovered an enzyme found in bateria which could be used for the biotechnological production of a precursor of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) the material that makes up acrylic glass.
The researchers say that the biotechnological process is “far more environmentally friendly” than the conventional chemical production process for PMMA.
Dr. Thore Rohwerder, who along with Dr. Roland H. Müller discovered the enzyme called 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase, was one of three finalists for the 100,000€-European Evonik research award for his work.