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University of Surrey awarded £450,000 in major plastic project

The University of Surrey has been awarded £450,000 for a European project that aims to reduce the detrimental effects of plastic waste.

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Surrey is one of eleven European partners to take part in the P4SB Project which has a total budget of seven million Euros.

Dr Jimenez, Lecturer in Synthetic Biology, at the University of Surrey, who has a major role in the project, said, “My laboratory is in charge of the design and optimization of the bacteria used for production of the degradable polymers. This will involve the genetic engineering of the microorganisms to produce higher yields in a variety of production conditions.”

Project P4SB – an abbreviation for 'From plastic waste to plastic value' using Pseudomonas putida Synthetic Biology – aims to transform plastic waste into bioplastic.

With the help of concepts and methods from synthetic biology and through the use of the bacteria Pseudomonas putida, oil-based plastic waste will be transformed into completely biologically composable material. It will then be able to be used for the production of new products.

Dr Jimenez added, “To me this project is the opportunity to implement the technological advances that we have been developing over the past few years into a meaningful application. My previous work, the one in which my contribution to P4SB is based, is largely theoretical and has only been tested in the lab. In this project we have the opportunity to make a difference and use our lab-generated knowledge in a real-world application to try to solve a very real problem.”

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under grant agreement No 633962).The funding was raised by Professor Lars Blank and Dr. Nick Wierckx at the Institute of Applied Microbiology (iAMB) in RWTH Aachen University (Germany). They were supported by EU project manager Christine Kempchen in RWTH's Division of Research Funding.

Discover more about P4SB through the Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more about the University of Surrey’s department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences.

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