Synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates from different short-chain fatty acids by mixed cultures submitted to aerobic dynamic feeding

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Abstract

The production of polyhydroxyalkanoates from acetate and propionate by two mixed cultures well adapted to each of these substrates was evaluated. Sludge fed with acetate (A), produced a homopolymer of hydroxybutyrate (HB), whereas sludge fed with propionate (P) produced a copolymer of HB and HV (hydoxyvalerate). Switching the substrate feeds, propionate to sludge A and acetate to culture P, a terpolymer of HB, HV and hydroxymethylvalerate (HMV) was obtained with culture A and a copolymer of P(HB/HV) by sludge P. Regardless of the population used, the polymer yield and productivity were much higher for acetate than for propionate. Feeding a mixture of acetate and propionate, in equal parts, to both cultures resulted in an increase of HV units produced per C mol of propionate consumed, relative to the situation where only propionate was used. The individual use of butyrate and valerate by culture A was also studied. Butyrate produced a homopolymer whereas valerate was stored as a terpolymer of P(HB/HV/HMV). The polymer yields on acetate and butyrate were higher than those on propionate and valerate. The polymer productivity was higher for acetate and propionate than for butyrate and valerate. Results showed that the polymer composition, and consequently the polymer properties, could be manipulated by varying the volatile fatty acid feed composition and/or the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-238
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Volume122
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Aerobic dynamic feeding
  • Mixed cultures
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Short-chain fatty acids

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