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November 13, 2008, 10:15 pm

Acrylic glass made of sugar

It doesn't taste sweet, but acrylic glass made from sugar is environmentally friendly! Its chemical name is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA for short) and it can now be made using an enzyme from bacteria.

[Science Daily]

PMMA, acrylic glass (otherwise known as 'Perspex', 'Plexiglass', or simply 'Acrylic') is manufactured by chemical processes polymerising methyl methacrylate (MMA), using petrochemical raw materials. Read more about its properties and amazing uses - including high-heeled shoes and the body of an electric bass guitar - here!

Now scientists have discovered an enzyme in bacteria that can make MMA.

This is a form of biotechnology, and it uses natural raw materials such as sugars, alcohols or fatty acids as food for the bacteria, so it is much more environmentally friendly than the chemical production of MMA.