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Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1197;

Bioreactor Operating Strategies for Improved Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Productivity

Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Bioplastics)
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Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are promising biodegradable polymers that may alleviate some of the environmental burden of petroleum-derived polymers. The requirements for carbon substrates and energy for bioreactor operations are major factors contributing to the high production costs and environmental impact of PHAs. Improving the process productivity is an important aspect of cost reduction, which has been attempted using a variety of fed-batch, continuous, and semi-continuous bioreactor systems, with variable results. The purpose of this review is to summarize the bioreactor operations targeting high PHA productivity using pure cultures. The highest volumetric PHA productivity was reported more than 20 years ago for poly(3-hydroxybutryate) (PHB) production from sucrose (5.1 g L−1 h−1). In the time since, similar results have not been achieved on a scale of more than 100 L. More recently, a number fed-batch and semi-continuous (cyclic) bioreactor operation strategies have reported reasonably high productivities (1 g L−1 h−1 to 2 g L−1 h−1) under more realistic conditions for pilot or industrial-scale production, including the utilization of lower-cost waste carbon substrates and atmospheric air as the aeration medium, as well as cultivation under non-sterile conditions. Little development has occurred in the area of fully continuously fed bioreactor systems over the last eight years. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioreactor; continuous fermentation; fed-batch fermentation; PHAs; polyhydroxyalkanoates; productivity; scale-up bioreactor; continuous fermentation; fed-batch fermentation; PHAs; polyhydroxyalkanoates; productivity; scale-up

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Blunt, W.; Levin, D.B.; Cicek, N. Bioreactor Operating Strategies for Improved Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Productivity. Polymers 2018, 10, 1197.

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