Characterization of polyhydroxybutyrate biosynthesized from crude glycerol waste using mixed microbial consortia

Authors

  • Shengjun Hu,

    1. Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Science, Renewable Materials Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1132
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  • Armando Gabriel McDonald,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Science, Renewable Materials Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1132
    • Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Science, Renewable Materials Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1132
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  • Erik Robert Coats

    1. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1022
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Abstract

This study focused on the characterization of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) produced from crude glycerol (CG) using mixed microbial consortia (MMC). PHB recovered from two biomass drying treatments (65°C oven drying and lyophilization) was characterized comparatively along with a commercially sourced PHB (PHB-C). Characterization results showed that oven-drying method caused PHB partial hydrolysis, as indicated by its lower molecular weight (Mw) (PHB-O, 144,000 g mol−1), which further affected its physical and chemical properties. Lyophilization helped alleviate PHB hydrolysis during drying process, leading to PHB (PHB-L) of higher Mw (309,000 g mol−1) and material properties comparable with commercial PHB. Furthermore, crystallization and morphological studies showed that PHB-L featured faster crystallization rates and smaller spherulites as compared with PHB-C, probably due to its lower Mw. In general, the results from this study suggested that CG-MMC-derived PHB-L possessed material properties comparable with those of pure substrate/culture produced PHB. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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