Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene (CHEBI:60034) consists of long chain polymers of ethylene and it is produced as either high-density (HD-PE) or low-density polyethylene (LD-PE). PE is chemically synthesized by polymerization of ethane and is highly variable, since side chains can be obtained depending on the manufacturing process. Such modifications mainly have influence on crystallinity and molecular weight. The polymer is most frequently used in the packaging industry as one of the main packaging materials, and more than 100 million tons of PE are produced globally per year. Possible PE degradation has been affiliated with a surprisingly large number of bacterial genera. Among those were Gram-negative species affiliated with the genera Pseudomonas, Ralstonia, and Stenotrophomonas but also many Gram-positive taxa. In addition insect guts and their microbiota are explored as possible source for PE degradation. However no convincing biochemical data were generated that have identified defined enzymes and pathways.

No functional enzymes acting on the crystalline high or low density polymers are known. In case you are aware of PE-active and biochemically characterized enzymes, please contact the PAZY team.

Please cite the database by referring to: P.C.F. Buchholz, H.L. Zhang, P. Perez-Garcia, L-L. Nover, J. Chow, W. R. Streit, J. Pleiss (2022);Plastics degradation by hydrolytic enzymes: the Plastics-Active Enzymes Database - PAZy,

  • pe.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/02/18 17:52
  • by Wolfgang Streit