Proteins encoded by reconstructed sequences at ancient phylogenetic nodes. Their biomolecular properties reflect adaptations to ancient environments and are often useful in biotechnological application scenarios.
Directed EvolutionEnzyme Custimization
By exploiting the immense power of natural evolution, Revoluzion project aims at generating highly stable plastic degrading enzymes from modern and ancestral protein molds through iterative rounds of random mutation, DNA recombination and artificial selection in the test tube.
RevoluZion develops an integral solution for the sustainability of bioplastics. The project will use genetically evolved resurrected ancestral enzymes for a controlled biodegradation feature and to be used as biomarkers.
Designing novel protectant systems based on biopolyester resins that enable plastic degrading enzymes integration, in order to enhance the stability as well as the depolymerization activity.
ControlledBiodegradation & Compostability
Programmable on-demand digestion of biopolyester resins in different environments, avoiding cross contamination with other recyclable conventional plastics, will be conferred thanks to the development of novel enzymatic additives specifically designed for the target biopolyesters.
New bioplasticSustainable products
As an alternative for fossil-based plastics, novel bioplastic materials, made from biobased components with programmed end-of-life, allow to reduce the environmental footprint, minimizing landfill or incineration of the packaging material after use.
Novel EnzymeMatrix for thermoplastics
Developing innovative bioplastic materials based on biobased components: 1) biopolyester blends used as matrix and 2) enzymatic functional additives. The integration of tailored enzymes within the plastic matrix will enable to have plastics products with a programmed sustainable end-of-life scenario.
A solution for the sustainability of bioplastics
RevoluZion project offers itself as a holistic solution to the end-of-life of plastics. The environmental impact of some plastics is currently highly negative due to erratic waste management (around 500,000 t of such waste ends up polluting oceans and soil or the atmosphere after incineration). Using advanced enzyme engineering, Revolizon project will develop up to three formulations of innovative bio-based bioplastic materials (biopolyester blends as matrix and enzymatic functional additives).
Through directed evolution, high-potential “tailor-made” enzymes will be designed, which will be capable of programmed biodegradation and compostability. The customisation of enzymes will be carried out, firstly, through the reconstruction of ancestral proteins (recovering the original genetic structures of the enzymes), whose high properties will favour the enzyme’s capacity for resistance to extreme conditions and optimise it to accelerate the biodegradation of the base material of the prototypes to be developed within the framework of the project (packaging and mulching for agriculture).
Previously encapsulated, the integration of the improved enzyme into the thermoplastic additive will be carried out by extrusion and injection processes. Revoluzion’s technology, which will enable the recycling of bioplastics, will reduce the carbon footprint derived from the incineration of plastics by 70%, as well as minimising greenhouse gases by 50%, or the energy required in plastic degradation processes. In addition, biomarkers (fluorescent proteins) will be included to help identify bioplastics in recycling plants.
This controlled biodegradation feature will be conferred thanks to the development of a novel enzymatic additive specifically designed for the target biopolyesters (blends of bioPBS, PLA, PHA and PBAT) and taking into account the final targeted applications (mulching and packaging). This double end-of-life functionality will be conferred to the bioplastic material by designing novel additives based on genetically evolved resurrected ancestral enzymes (GERA) with natural refolding capacity, as well as designing novel protectant systems that enables their integration into plastic transformation technologies (pairing by designing biopolyester-PHA nanobeads).
The GERA enzymes will present resistance to operational/manufacturing plastic conditions (robustness and thermostability) and programmed selectivity to digest targeted biopolyester resins. In addition, the incorporation of a green fluorescent peptide (GFP) within the GERA enzyme proteins will confer them autofluorescence properties. In this way, bioplastic containing GERA enzymes will not only present programmed auto-biodegradation and compostability performance but in case these end in recycling plants, these bioplastic products will be easily identified in waste managers recycling plants with current conventional optical systems, easing their separation from other plastic flows and thus avoiding cross-contamination while permitting its adequate end-of-life (avoiding also unnecessary landfilling or incineration).
The project expects to obtain at least 3 novel bioplastic materials with programmed end-of-life (reducing degradation times in a third in managed industrial environments, making home compostable current industrial compostable resins, promoting a fast biodegradation in unmanaged environments). This concept will promote new strategies towards sustainable business models, aligning the Spanish society to the European Green Deal objectives.
New Sustainable Products
Biodegradation & Compostability
The aim of RevoluZion project is to research and develope innovative bioplastic materials based on biobased components (biopolyester blends as matrix and enzymatic functional additives) with a programmed biodegradation for a twofold sustainable end-of-life scenario:
On-demand degradation in different managed (faster industrial and home composting) and unmanaged environments (soil, freshwater, marine)
Fostering clean recycling by avoiding cross contamination with other recyclable conventional plastics.
In the framework of the project, 3 product prototypes will be developed for the food industry:
Material programmed to reduce industrial composting time by up to three times.
Material that will enable home compostability.
Material that will support biodegradation in the field.
An environmental challenge
Plastic waste is one of the major threats to our ecosystems and the current end-of-life given to plastics negatively affects the environment. Each year, 150.000 to 500.000 t of plastic waste end up in the ocean. Especially waste from packaging, for which about 40% of all plastics in Europe are used, massively contributes to these environmental problems. In this context, Europe is addressing this present and future challenge by promoting sustainable practices and the circular economy not only in industry, but also in society.
However, circular economy needs also an optimal waste management in order to create an effective after-use plastic economy as a main strategy to promote recycling rates of plastics, to avoid further plastic littering on land and sea and reduce plastic waste diverted to landfill or incineration.
Revoluzion technology will reduce more than 50% the required energy for plastic degradation
RevoluZion will reduce Greenhouse Gas emission by 50%