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The Molecular Level Characterization of Biodegradable Polymers Originated from Polyethylene Using Non-Oxygenated Polyethylene Wax as a Carbon Source for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production

1
Wolverhampton School of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
2
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland
3
Recycling Technologies Ltd., South Marston Industrial Park, Swindon SN3 4WA, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Koller
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering4030073
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Abstract

There is an increasing demand for bio-based polymers that are developed from recycled materials. The production of biodegradable polymers can include bio-technological (utilizing microorganisms or enzymes) or chemical synthesis procedures. This report demonstrates the corroboration of the molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) obtained by the conversion of waste polyethylene (PE) via non-oxygenated PE wax (N-PEW) as an additional carbon source for a bacterial species. The N-PEW, obtained from a PE pyrolysis reaction, has been found to be a beneficial carbon source for PHA production with Cupriavidus necator H16. The production of the N-PEW is an alternative to oxidized polyethylene wax (O-PEW) (that has been used as a carbon source previously) as it is less time consuming to manufacture and offers fewer industrial applications. A range of molecular structural analytical techniques were performed on the PHAs obtained; which included nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Our study showed that the PHA formed from N-PEW contained 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB) with 11 mol% of 3-hydroxyvalerate (HV) units. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHAs; non-oxidized PE wax; N-PEW; Cupriavidus necator H16 polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHAs; non-oxidized PE wax; N-PEW; Cupriavidus necator H16
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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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Johnston, B.; Jiang, G.; Hill, D.; Adamus, G.; Kwiecień, I.; Zięba, M.; Sikorska, W.; Green, M.; Kowalczuk, M.; Radecka, I. The Molecular Level Characterization of Biodegradable Polymers Originated from Polyethylene Using Non-Oxygenated Polyethylene Wax as a Carbon Source for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production. Bioengineering 2017, 4, 73.

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