Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Ashby, R.D., Solaiman, D., Foglia, T.A. 2005. Biopolyesters derived from the fermentation of renewable resources. In: Hou, C.T., editor. Handbook of Industrial Biocatalysis. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press. p. 19-1:19-10. Technical Abstract: The use of renewable resources in the production of biodegradable polymers is gaining interest worldwide in an effort to reduce the detrimental environmental impact brought about by dependence on petroleum products and provide new outlets for agricultural crops. Some of these natural materials, such as the more common polysaccharides (cellulose and starch), have been studied intact for use in structural applications while others such as glucose (derived from the hydrolysis of starch) and lipids have been used as fermentation feedstocks for the production of a number of microbially derived polyesters. Biopolyesters are polymers that are either synthesized entirely by the microorganism itself (e.g. polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHA) or are synthesized chemically or enzymatically using precursors derived from microbial fermentation (e.g. polylactic acid, PLA; polytrimethylene terephthalate, PTT). All three of the above mentioned biopolyesters are currently under investigation as potential substitutes for petroleum-based polymers. This paper summarizes the current advances in the use of renewable resources as substrates for the fermentative production of these biopolyesters.