To establish a sustainable material production system and preserve the Earth’s environment, “biomass plastics” that are made from renewable biomass instead of petroleum and “biodegradable plastics” that are completely degraded into carbon dioxide and water by enzymes secreted by microorganisms in the environment are desirable products. This miniature review describes a series of studies on microbial polyesters and polysaccharide ester derivatives, including the synthesis of novel polymers, development of new processing techniques for high-performance films and fibers, elucidation of the relationship between structure and properties using synchrotron radiation, and control of the rate of enzymatic degradation.
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This work was financially supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (26248044, 19H00908), Grant-in-Aid for challenging Exploratory Research (15K13778, 18K19104), “White Biotechnology” in JST-ALCA (JPMJAL1502), NEDO project (19101209), and the “Demonstration project for plastics resource circulation system for decarbonized society” of the Ministry of the Environment. The synchrotron radiation experiments were mostly performed using BL03XU (2017A1440, 2018A7232, 2019A7234), BL40B2 (2019A1213), BL45XU, BL47XU.
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Iwata, T., Gan, H., Togo, A. et al. Recent developments in microbial polyester fiber and polysaccharide ester derivative research. Polym J 53, 221–238 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41428-020-00404-8
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