Replacing Synthetic Plastic With Bacterial Polyhydroxyalkanote

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Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanote (PHA) is a good candidate to replace synthetic plastic due to its biodegradability. The main factor that hampered the commercialization of PHA is the high production cost with the recovery processes accounting for the most. The present study suggests a novel biological recovery method of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from Cupriavidus necator H16. The PHA granules have been extracted without the help of any solvent or chemicals. The lyophilized cells were used protein source for the laboratory rats and simultaneously recovered the PHB granules excreted in the faeces. It is evident that the PHB granules were not metabolized by rats’ digestive system. The PHB content of faeces was about 90% detected with gas …show more content…
In addition, PHA is completely biodegradable upon disposal into the environment (Choi and Lee, 1999).
PHAs are synthesized and accumulated intracellulary by numerous microorganisms as carbon and energy storage material under restricted growth conditions and in the presence of excess carbon source (Sudesh et al., 2000, Tian et al., 2009). The main issue associated with the slow commercialization of PHA is its high production cost (ref). Carbon sources and recovery of PHA are the major cost absorbing factors which accounts for the overall high production cost. In order to minimize the overall cost, recent studies have been geared towards identifying renewable and inexpensive carbon sources (ref). Economical yet efficient recovery process also being investigated (ref). Solvent extraction method using chlorinated solvents such as chloroform, dichloroethane and propylene carbonate is among the commonly used laboratory method. Polymers recovered by these methods possess high purity and is useful for characterization study (Ramsay et al., 1994). However, if the extracted polymer solution contains more than 5% (w/v) PHA, its high viscosity might complicate the purification process (ref). Besides that, solvent extraction method requires large volume of toxic solvents which is not only very costly but also hazardous if

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