Quantumzyme, a Bangalore-based biotech company focused on clean and green chemistry, has received funding from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Centre of Excellence to develop an affordable solution for sustainable plastic degradation. Using its proprietary technology, QZyme WorkbenchTM, the company aims to create the first prototype by the end of 2023. The CEO, Naveen Kulkarni, has announced that they will seek additional funding from various agencies to support the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs. 3.2 crore.
Challenges of plastic and the solution
Despite the widespread ban on plastics, the plastic recycling market is estimated to be worth $35 billion annually with a projected 5% growth. Replacing 20% of this market with a greener option is estimated to cost around $7 billion per year.
QZyme WorkbenchTM creates enzymes for “greening” chemical reactions in industries such as pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, textiles and more, with a focus on PET (plastic). Plastic waste, particularly PET, is harmful to human health and the environment. Traditional chemical processes require high-purity recovered PET, which is more expensive and less readily available, and also require intensive processes like temperature control, catalysts, and pressure.
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The enzyme degradation method developed by Quantumzyme selectively converts impure PET streams into pure monomers, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Unlike existing enzymes, Quantumzyme’s technology can degrade a larger amount of PET and operates at lower temperatures.
By developing a sustainable solution for plastic degradation, Quantumzyme aims to reduce the negative impact of plastic waste on human health and the environment. The company’s focus on clean and green chemistry aligns with the growing global movement to reduce plastic waste and find more environmentally friendly solutions.
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