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Open AccessArticle

Biomass Extraction Using Non-Chlorinated Solvents for Biocompatibility Improvement of Polyhydroxyalkanoates

School of Biology Chemistry and Forensic Science, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV11LY, UK
C/o Institute of Chemistry, Office of Research Management and Service, University of Graz, NAWI Graz, Heinrichstrasse 28/III, 8010 Graz, Austria
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Curie-Skłodowskiej 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Centre for Bioenergy and Resource Management, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK.
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 731;
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Polymers)
An economically viable method to extract polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from cells is desirable for this biodegradable polymer of potential biomedical applications. In this work, two non-chlorinated solvents, cyclohexanone and γ-butyrolactone, were examined for extracting PHA produced by the bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16 cultivated on vegetable oil as a sole carbon source. The PHA produced was determined as a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) homopolyester. The extraction kinetics of the two solvents was determined using gel permeation chromatography (GPC). When cyclohexanone was used as the extraction solvent at 120 °C in 3 min, 95% of the PHB was recovered from the cells with a similar purity to that extracted using chloroform. With a decrease in temperature, the recovery yield decreased. At the same temperatures, the recovery yield of γ-butyrolactone was significantly lower. The effect of the two solvents on the quality of the extracted PHB was also examined using GPC and elemental analysis. The molar mass and dispersity of the obtained polymer were similar to that extracted using chloroform, while the nitrogen content of the PHB extracted using the two new solvents was slightly higher. In a nutshell, cyclohexanone in particular was identified as an expedient candidate to efficiently drive novel, sustainable PHA extraction processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyclohexanone; γ-butyrolactone; chloroform; extraction; polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHB cyclohexanone; γ-butyrolactone; chloroform; extraction; polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHB
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, G.; Johnston, B.; Townrow, D.E.; Radecka, I.; Koller, M.; Chaber, P.; Adamus, G.; Kowalczuk, M. Biomass Extraction Using Non-Chlorinated Solvents for Biocompatibility Improvement of Polyhydroxyalkanoates. Polymers 2018, 10, 731.

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