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Title: Utilization of volatile acids by Alcaligenes Eutrophus for production of biodegradable thermoplastics
Authors: Yu, Jian
Ruan, Wenquan
Keywords: PHA
Biodegradable plastic
Volatile fatty acids
Issue Date: 1999
Citation: Proceedings of the Asia-pacific Chemical Reaction Engineering Symposium "APCRE 99", Hong Kong SAR, China, June 13-16, 1999, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China, 1999, p. 139-144
Abstract: Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a family of polyesters formed in bacteria as a carbon or energy storage. PHA production by bacterium Alcaligenes eutrophus from acetic, propionic and butyric acids was investigated in nutrient-rich and chemically defined media by using batch and semi-batch cultures. PHA formation under nutrient-rich conditions was associated with cell growth. High acetate concentrations (5 g/L or above) inhibited both cell growth and PHA formation, but the toxic effect was reduced with increased cell mass. Both cell growth and PHA formation were linearly proportional to acetate concentration in a nontoxic concentration range. By using a semi-batch cultivation, butyric acid was controlled at a low level (20-40 mg/L) and the specific PHA formation rate was linearly proportional to the acid concentration showing no toxic effect of butyric acid in a chemically defined medium. At an ammonium concentration of 80-100 mg/L, butyric acid was used mainly for PHA formation with a little increase in active biomass. Fed with propionic acid, A. eutrophus produced a copolymer, poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate), in contrast to a homopolymer, polyhydroxybutyrate, from acetic or butyric acids. The content of hydroxyvalerate in the copolymer was around 40%.
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