Current biotechnologies on depolymerization of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and repolymerization of reclaimed monomers from PET for bio-upcycling: A critical review

Na Kyung Kim, Sang Hoon Lee, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has drastically increased in the past half-century, reaching 30 million tons every year. The accumulation of this recalcitrant waste now threatens diverse ecosystems. Despite efforts to recycle PET wastes, its rate of recycling remains limited, as the current PET downcycling is mostly unremunerative. To address this problem, PET bio-upcycling, which integrates microbial depolymerization of PET followed by repolymerization of PET-derived monomers into value-added products, has been suggested. This article critically reviews current understanding of microbial PET hydrolysis, the metabolic mechanisms involved in PET degradation, PET hydrolases, and their genetic improvement. Furthermore, this review includes the use of meta-omics approaches to search PET-degrading microbiomes, microbes, and putative hydrolases. The current development of biosynthetic technologies to convert PET-derived materials into value-added products is also comprehensively discussed. The integration of various depolymerization and repolymerization biotechnologies enhances the prospects of a circular economy using waste PET.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127931
JournalBioresource technology
Volume363
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Keywords

  • Bio-upcycling
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Microbial degradation
  • Microbiome engineering
  • PET hydrolase
  • Polyethylene terephthalate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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