Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339703

Research Project: Commercial Products from Microbial Lipids

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Title: Levulinic acid: a valuable platform chemical for fermentative syntheses

item Ashby, Richard - Rick
item Solaiman, Daniel

Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In 2004 the DOE included levulinic acid (LA) as a top platform molecule because of its production from renewable resources in large yields and its broad application potential as a precursor for many valuable chemical derivatives. While LA and its chemical derivatives have high application potential, use of LA as a fermentation feedstock is less well-established. In this paper, we discuss the use of LA as a precursor in microbial fermentations specifically those involved in the synthesis of bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Under appropriate growth conditions, specific strains of Pseudomonas, Azohydromonas and Burkholderia demonstrated the utilization of LA in the presence of a co-substrate to produce short-chain PHA biopolymers. These polymers include poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate, the terpolyester poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate-co-4-hydroxyvalerate in varying monomeric ratios, and the homopolymer, poly-3-hydroxyvalerate. The use of LA as a fermentation feedstock as well as varying polymer compositions broadens application potential of both LA and the resultant biopolymers.