Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019) | Viewed by 10964

Special Issue Editors

CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, Chemistry Department, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: polyhydroxyalkanoates; mixed cultures; bioethanol; bacterial cellulose; biorefineries
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemistry, NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2825-149 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: biopolymers; polyhydroxyalkanoates; mixed cultures; waste/by-products valorisation; microbial ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Common plastics of fossil fuel origin are persistent in nature, representing a serious and growing environmental problem. These plastics can be replaced in diverse applications by bio-based polymers like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). PHAs are biodegradable and can be produced from numerous wastes and by-products by more than 300 genera of prokaryotes.

PHAs act as internal carbon and energy reserves in bacteria, allowing for survival in environments that experience unbalanced nutritional conditions. One example of these conditions is the limitation of nutrients required for growth, such as oxygen or nitrogen, when carbon is present in excess. Another example is the alternation of periods of lack and availability of carbon sources. Also, due to the high diversity of monomers and the possibility to combine different monomers into the final polymer, a wide range of properties can be obtained for this class of polymers, from thermoplastics to elastomers, with a wide range of applications. Although PHAs can replace many types of petrol-derived plastics, their production price is not yet commercially attractive. Researchers in this field still need to tackle several challenges in order to make the industrial production of PHAs competitive with the well-established industry of conventional plastics. These challenges include high cell density processes, the use of cheap and fast metabolized substrates, fast-growing strains, low sterility processes, high cell contents, and easier downstream processing.

This Special Issue intends to cover the latest developments in this field including all types of producing microorganisms—pure, recombinant, and mixed microbial cultures. Topics will include the use of new raw materials as the substrate; the selection, enrichment, screening, and isolation of novel producers; reactor operation; metabolic engineering for production improvement; downstream processing; process scale-up; polymer characterization; and polymer applications/blends.

Prof. Luísa Seuanes Serafim
Dr. Paulo Costa Lemos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biopolymers
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Bacterial production
  • Mixed microbial cultures
  • Recombinant organisms
  • Cheap raw materials
  • Downstream

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Polychlorinated Biphenyl Profile in Polyhydroxy-alkanoates Synthetized from Urban Organic Wastes
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030659 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2977
Abstract
The microbial synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from organic wastes is a valuable process to valorize available renewable resources, such as food wastes and biological sludge. Bioplastics find many applications in various sectors, from medical field to food industry. However, persistent organic pollutants could [...] Read more.
The microbial synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from organic wastes is a valuable process to valorize available renewable resources, such as food wastes and biological sludge. Bioplastics find many applications in various sectors, from medical field to food industry. However, persistent organic pollutants could be transferred from wastes to the final product. The present paper demonstrates that the use of municipal wastes in PHA production is safe for the environment and human health and provides a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) profile in both commercial and waste-based PHA samples. PCB analysis in several PHA samples showed very low concentrations of the target analytes. Commercial PHA samples showed a similar PCB level with respect to PHA samples from municipal waste/sludge and higher than PHA samples from fruit waste. For all analyzed PCBs, detected concentrations were consistently lower than the ones reported in regulatory framework or guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers)
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15 pages, 2227 KiB  
Article
Time-Course Proteomic Analysis of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 during Mcl-Polyhydroxyalkanoate Synthesis under Nitrogen Deficiency
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050748 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3275
Abstract
Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs) have gained great attention as a new green alternative to petrochemical-derived polymers. Due to their outstanding material properties they can be used in a wide range of applications. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a metabolically versatile producer of mcl-polyhydroxyalkanoates. Although the [...] Read more.
Medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs) have gained great attention as a new green alternative to petrochemical-derived polymers. Due to their outstanding material properties they can be used in a wide range of applications. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a metabolically versatile producer of mcl-polyhydroxyalkanoates. Although the metabolism of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis by this bacterium has been extensively studied, the comparative proteome analysis from three growth stages of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 cultured with oleic acid during mcl-PHA synthesis has not yet been reported. Therefore; the aim of the study was to compare the proteome of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 at different time points of its cultivation using the 2D difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) technique. The analyses showed that low levels of a nitrogen source were beneficial for mcl-PHA synthesis. Proteomic analysis revealed that the proteins associated with carbon metabolism were affected by nitrogen starvation and mcl-PHA synthesis. Furthermore, the induction of proteins involved in nitrogen metabolism, ribosome synthesis, and transport was observed, which may be the cellular response to stress related to nitrogen deficiency and mcl-PHA content in bacterial cells. To sum up; this study enabled the investigators to acquire a better knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying the induction of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis and accumulation in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 that could lead to improved strategies for PHAs in industrial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers)
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Review

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16 pages, 1154 KiB  
Review
Polyhydroxyalkanoates Synthesized by Aeromonas Species: Trends and Challenges
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081328 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3784
Abstract
The negative effects of petrochemical-derived plastics on the global environment and depletion of global fossil fuel supplies have paved the way for exploring new technologies for the production of bioplastics. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are considered an alternative for synthetic polymers because of their biodegradability, [...] Read more.
The negative effects of petrochemical-derived plastics on the global environment and depletion of global fossil fuel supplies have paved the way for exploring new technologies for the production of bioplastics. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are considered an alternative for synthetic polymers because of their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity. Many bacteria have been reported to have the ability to synthesize PHAs. Among them, the Aeromonas species seem to be ideal hosts for the industrial production of these biopolyesters due to their robust growth, simple growth requirements, their ability for the synthesis of homopolymers, co-polymers, and terpolymers with unique material properties. Some Aeromonas strains were able to produce PHAs in satisfactory amounts from simple carbon sources. Efforts have been made to use genetically modified Aeromonas strains for enhanced PHAs and to obtain bacteria with modified compositions and improved properties. This review discusses the current state of knowledge of polyhydroxyalkanoates synthesized by Aeromonas species, with a special focus on their potential, challenges, and progress in PHA synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Biopolymers)
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