Team:NPU-China/HP/Gold Integrated

We paid a visit to a factory of acrylic acid

On August 4, 2017, under the guidance of the instructor Sun Yulong, our four members of NPU-China came to Xi’an Aerospace Sanwo Chemical Co., Ltd., Yanliang District, Xi’an, based on the the theme "acrylic application and sustainable development”. Company technical leader Gao Jianbin warmly welcomed the arrival of our team, and then arranged for the visit. Together with the Minister Gao Yuan, he led us to visit the company's acrylic adhesive production department.

We firstly visited the factory's acrylic adhesive production department. After wearing the white coat and releasing the body static, we entered the workshop. We were surprised at the inside of the real factory, having witnessed a series of acrylic products that were only seen on the Internet. Also, we touched and got to understand the acrylic adhesive reactor on our own; entered the reaction controlling room, which truly offered us the sense of convenience that technology brings to us. Technical director Gao Jianbin told us that acrylic and acrylic monomer are together poured into the reactor. By adjusting the temperature, pressure and other reaction conditions, we can control the output of acrylic adhesive. Entering the production line on our own enabled us to grasp a better understanding of the operating mechanism and equipment.

It is worthwhile to mention that the company's acrylic adhesive production accounts to about 5000t / year, ranking the leading position in the production of adhesives, which are widely used in automotive insulation film, special tape, electronic protective film and other fields. And the adhesive applied in automotive insulation film accounts for nearly 60% of the market share, which indicates a promising prospect.

After the visit, the technical leader Gao Jianbin arranged for us to go to the conference room for a deeper talk. Team leader Wu Zexun briefed on the relevant knowledge of synthesis biology. And introduced to the company staff about our project --- the biological synthesis of acrylic acid based on the chassis organisms and glycerol, which appealed much to the company staff and was highly acclaimed. It’s known to us all that the current acrylic products mainly come from oil-related products, whose high energy consumption, heavy environmental pollution, lack of sustainability and other shortcomings will all be outshined by the merits of synthetic biology method.

We are delighted that the leaders Gao Jianbin and Luo Bao and Gao Yuan have offered us a load of inspirational ideas in practical application and factory operation. Some questions they raised haven’t been taken into our consideration in terms of economic efficiency and ultimate products. They suggested that, in addition to the points of green and sustainable development, we could also clarify the superiority of our project from the security aspect, which is the fundament of an enterprise. We were marveled that if we didn’t enter the factory in person, it would be almost impossible for us to explore more superiorities of our project.

We came into contact with a lot of practical knowledge at the meeting, which can never be learnt on the Internet or from books. Technical director Gao Jianbin also told us that acrylic acid is exceedingly broadly applied ranging from the phone scratch-resistant screen to the aircraft paint, according us with a more profound understanding of the application of acrylic acid.

Communication——CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer Community)

On 28th August this year, the 4th CCiC managed to be held in Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University FAFU, Jinshan campus. Nearly 50 iGEM college teams and high school teams from all over the country , non-participating teams and special guests and scholars working on synthetic biology related areas all gathered in FAFU Conference Center, conducting a wonderful talk about exchanges and sharing.

During the posters display and break, our project poster designed by Li Chenyuan, the art director, succeeded to attract numerous students and entrepreneurs. Zhuo Bingzhao, the team advisor, and the head of experiment Hu Xin explained at length about the contents and answered the questions and puzzlements from many iGEMers, which gained the “Best Poster” labelling.
We thus delivered a speech and introduction regarding our project.

During the wonderful 20 minutes, the team leader Wu Zexun expanded upon the project to the students and teachers present, Bluepha CEO Li Teng and iGEM HQ King L. Chow about the background of project, selection of chassis organisms, transformation of enzymes, reconstruction and optimization of metabolic pathway, modeling and the current experimental results. Team member Qin Weiwei and Zhang Jiani made a detailed introduction of Hardware and Human Practice respectively, which has obtained a wealth of questions and attention from the audience. The problems raised touch on many aspects, such as the principle and promotion of the enzyme transformation platform, the matching of production and industrialization, and the safety, inspiring us to bolster and enhance our project.

Simultaneously, we want to convey our acknowledgements to South China Agricultural University and University of Science and Technology from their devotion into our metabolic flux modeling.


In the past 100 years, the rapid development of traditional chemical industry has greatly enhanced the quality of life of people. However, the pollution and destruction brought by the chemical industry are also devastating our planet. The emergence of synthetic biology helps to provide us with a new solution; we can introduce new chemical reactions into biological cells, thus getting high-quality chemical products in a greener way.
Whether it is a breakthrough in new technology or the pressure from the reality of environment, more and more people are coming to the belief that in the near future, green biological cell factory will have to replace the existing chemical industry.
In terms of environmental safety, cell factories have a natural advantage over traditional chemical ones, but they are also facing new problems. The potential biosecurity of the cell factory, especially the transgenic safety problem, can bring to the environment more irreversible safety risks.
Therefore, the following problems deserves our careful consideration.
1.Do the existing laws and regulations touch on the specific provisions regarding the biosafety of biological manufacturing factories (biological pharmaceutical factories, chemical factories, etc.), especially the prevention of genetic pollution? What are the differences in the standards of several major countries or regions?

2.Have the previous iGEM teams conducted corresponding researches on this aspect?

3.How are the existing biotech companies taking action on biogenetic safety? What is the current solution? Are there any drawbacks?

4.As for the future cell factories, is there a better safety measure to boost the protection against biological genetic safety problems? And should the government have more specific mandatory requirements to help control the biosafety risks of the future cell factories?

In view of the above genetic problems of cell factories, our team and SCUT-China (team name to be confirmed) together made the investigation from the following aspects:

1.Corresponding laws and regulations regarding biosafety worldwide.

2.The main technical solution of the sewage treatment in chemical plants.

3.The level of understanding of biosafety concerning cell factories of the previous iGEM teams.

On the basis of our research, we have also proposed solutions that we consider viable, and we will organize these results into reports so that we will be able to deepen our understanding of the future biosafety of cell factories and hope to provide a certain reference to the future cell factory designers or supervisors.

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