Lethbridge High School SynBio – iGEM
Small-scale composting project
|Team Grade Level:||High School|
|STEM Focus:||Synthetic Biology|
Creating an efficient small-scale household composting unit.
As the population of the earth continues to grow, more waste is ending up in landfills, with many of the items being compostable food waste. Food waste disposal in landfills has many environmental consequences, primarily the greenhouse gases emitted during anaerobic decomposition. Although food waste disposal services are available, such services release methane and are not economically feasible, and residential and industrial composting methods are oftentimes not readily available. We propose a system that employs engineered enzymes that breaks down food waste in a more accessible small-scale closed container system in any climate, ensuring that unsafe chemicals produced during the composting do not enter the environment. Our aim is to increase the speed of decomposition of homogalacturonan, a common form of pectin, using the enzymes pelB pelC and pnl in an engineered pectin-degradation catalyst. This project will address a local problem within the Lethbridge community and a worldwide issue.