Nov 15, 2008

Tech - Future goggles and vehicle lights may be made from sugar

Washington, November 14 (ANI): Natural raw materials like sugars, alcohols, or fatty acids may soon find application in the production of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), better known as acrylic glass that is widely used as a lightweight alternative to glass to make protective goggles and vehicle lights.

Dr. Thore Rohwerder, from the University of Duisburg-Essen, and his mentor Dr. Roland Muller, from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), say that they have found an enzyme that can be used for the biotechnological production of a precursor of methyl methacrylate (MMA), polymerising which is the key to PMMA's manufacture.

The researchers say that the biotechnological process they rely upon is far more environmentally friendly than the previous chemical production process.

They have revealed that the new enzyme discovered by them is called 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase, and that it makes it possible to turn a linear C4 carbon structure into a branched one.

The team say that compounds of this type are precursors of MMA. (ANI)

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