Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates from fermented sugar cane molasses by a mixed culture enriched in glycogen accumulating organisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Batch production of polyhydroxyalkaroates (PHAs) under aerobic conditions by an open mixed culture enriched in glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) with fermented sugar cane molasses as substrate was studied. The produced polymers contained five types of monomers, namely 3-hydroxybutyrate (31-113), 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV), 3-hydroxy-2-methylbutyrate (3H2MB), 3-hydroxy-2-methylvaterate (3H2MV) and the medium chain length monomer 3-hydroxyhexanoate (3HHx). With fermented molasses as substrate, PHA was produced under concurrent consumption of stored glycogen with yields of 0.47-0.66 C-mol PHA per C-mol of total carbon substrate and with rates up to 0.65 C-mol/C-mol X h. In order to investigate the role of glycogen during aerobic PHA accumulation in GAOs. synthetic single volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were used as substrates and it was found that the fate of glycogen was dependent on the type of VFA being consumed. Aerobic PHA accumulation occurred under concurrent glycogen consumption with acetate as substrate and under minor concurrent glycogen production with propionate as substrate. With butyrate and valerate as substrates, PHA accumulation occurred with the glycogen pool unaffected. The composition of the PHA was dependent on the VFA composition of the fermented molasses and was 56-70 mol-% 3HB. 13-43 mol-% 3HV, 1-23 mol-% 3HHx and 0-2 mol-% 3H2MB and 3H2MV. The high polymer yields and production rates suggest that enrichment of GAOs can be a fruitful strategy for mixed culture production of PHA from waste substrates. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)253-263
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Cite this