María Gracia Alván Vargas PhD Student

Hi there! I am Maria Gracia from the Inca’s land, Peru. I am a curious metabolic engineer working on the production of sustainable and biodegradable polymers using C1 molecules as substrate.


There is a major, ongoing problem with plastic accumulation and pollution, where 79% of plastic wastes end up in the ocean or landfills. One of the proposed solutions is adopting bioplastics as materials, as these have different features that make them easier to be degraded and further used. Among such materials, co-polymers based on monomers of C2, C3 and C4 are the most well-known, studied and produced at industrial scale. These monomers can be conveniently obtained from intermediate metabolites when using formate, acetate, or methanol as carbon sources. This strategy makes our process even more sustainable, as these feedstocks are synthesized from syngas or carbon dioxide. My research project focuses on production optimization of different co-polymers from C1-compounds in P. putida.