Team:PuiChing Macau

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Project Description

Due to the rapid development of Macau economy and society in recent years, although the amount of recycling of some resource waste has increased, it has not been able to offset the amount of waste generated. Solid waste treatment has become one of the major environmental problems in Macau.

Recently, the amount of municipal solid waste disposed of per capita has ranked first in the Asia-Pacific region, with the amount of municipal solid waste disposed of per capita reaching 2.24 (kg/person ‧ day). Macau (MNA) – The Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) stated in its 2019 Environmental Report that the amount of food waste collected in the city increased by 24.5% year-on-year in 2018. In 2019, DSPA and the Municipal Affairs Bureau collected approximately 441,819 kilograms of food waste. Compared with 2018, there is a significant increase. Among them, the amount of municipal solid waste disposed of per capita is still at a high level.

Recently, studies in synthetic biology and microbiology helped to boost the efficiency and value of the food waste recycling industry. As one of produce biofuel, bioplastics and other useful chemicals. With food waste. However, none of these studies considers the fact that E.coli can be easily inhibited by an acidic environment, which is common in food waste processing.

Here we propose to apply the acid-tolerant system, which was recently developed in E.coli, to tolerate the acidic environment of food waste processing. By co-transforming the acid-tolerant system and bioplastic production system into E.coli, we hope to increase the production rate of bioplastic from food waste. For demonstration, we will use Polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic production system, as it has not been studied thoroughly before. By transforming lactic acid(the chemical that is naturally produced by food waste during fermentation) into bioplastic.