Submitted to: International Symposium on Biocatalysis and Biotechnology: Functional Food and Industrial Products
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Poly(hydroxyalkanoate)s (PHA’s) are well-known bacterial polyesters produced by many bacteria under nutrient-deficient conditions. While many PHA’s demonstrate comparable properties to the more popular petrochemical polymers, PHA applications are inhibited by high production costs. In an effort to reduce costs, inexpensive substrates have been tested to induce PHA synthesis via fermentation. Three distinct bacterial strains (Pseudomonas oleovorans NRRL B-14682, Azohydromonas lata (DSM 1122, and Burkholderia sacchari DSM 17165) were demonstrated to use crude glycerol (CG), xylose (XYL), and levulinic acid (LA) to produce PHA biopolymers. P. oleovorans utilized CG and LA in various combinations to produce random short-chain PHA polymers composed of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) with 3HB:3HV monomer ratios varying from 100:0 (3HB homopolymer) to 0:100 (3HV homopolymer). A. lata was shown to produce random terpolyesters composed of 3HB, 3HV, and 4-hydroxyvalerate (4HV) from glucose and LA, indicating that this organism has the genetic capability to produce three different polymer precursors from LA. B. sacchari utilized XYL and LA in combination to produce unique block copolymers of 3HB and 3HV without the need for sequential feedstock addition. In this presentation we will discuss the specifics behind these fermentative syntheses and the potential impact on applying these renewable feedstocks to improve the application potential of the resultant biopolymers.