Conference: Tadahisa Iwata

on the July 5, 2019

July 5th, 2:00 pm
Prof. Tadahisa Iwata, from Science of Polymeric Materials, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo (Japan) will give a talk about "High Performance Biomass-based Biodegradable Plastics from Microbial Polyesters and Polysaccharide Derivatives".

The increasing global warming and micro-plastics concerns on the utilization of non-biodegradable plastics derived from petrochemicals have led researchers to rely on plant biomass as a feedstock for the synthesis of biodegradable plastics.  

Poly([R]-3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)) and its copolymers are accumulated by a wide variety of microorganisms as intracellular carbon and energy materials and are extensively studied as biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastics. In this paper, I will present the processing of strong and porous fibers, mechanical properties, molecular and highly-ordered structure, enzymatic and environmental degradation of strong and porous fibers produced from microbial polyesters.

Recently, our group succeeded to synthesize new thermoplastics from polysaccharides such as curdlan, paramylon, pullulan, etc by esterification and found interesting thermal, mechanical, and optical properties. Highly transparent films, injection molding, and melt-spun fibers were prepared from linear and branched ester derivatives and their molecular and crystal structures were investigated by using wide-angle X-ray diffraction.

Furthermore, we succeeded the one-pot synthesis and development of unnatural-type bio-based polysaccharide, a-1,3-glucan. The synthesis can be achieved by in vitro enzymatic polymerization with GtfJ enzyme, one type of glucosyltransferase, cloned from Streptococcus salivarius ATCC 25975 utilizing sucrose, a renewable feedstock, as a glucose monomer source, via environmentally friendly one-pot water-based reaction. More recently, we succeeded to in vitro synthesize graft copolymers with two different kinds of a-1,3 and a-1,6 glycosidic linkages of glucose.


Professor Tadahisa Iwata graduated from Kyoto University in 1989. He studied in CERMAV-CNRS (Grenoble) in 1992-93 and obtained his PhD degree in Wood Science & Technology from Kyoto University in 1994. He became a researcher at Polymer Chemistry Laboratory in RIKEN Institute. In 2012, he became a Professor in The University of Tokyo. His specialties are the synthesis and characterization of bio-based and biodegradable polymers. He received German Innovation Award, Germany (2009) and The Award of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2019). He is an Editor in Polymer Degradation and Stability journal (Elsevier).

Published on June 21, 2019

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Cermav, Chartreuse room
University Campus - Saint-Martin d'Hères