Date: 18 Apr 2007

Effect of addition of sodium alginate on bacterial cellulose production by Acetobacter xylinum

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Bacterial cellulose (BC) production by Acetobacter xylinum NUST4.1 was carried out in the shake flask and in a stirred-tank reactor by means of adding sodium alginate (NaAlg) into the medium. When 0.04% (w/v) NaAlg was added in the shake flask, BC production reached 6.0 g/l and the terminal yield of the cellulose was 27% of the total sugar initially added, compared with 3.7 g/l and 24% in the control, respectively. The variation between replicates in all determinations was less than 5%. During the cultivation in the stirred-tank reactor, the addition of NaAlg changed the morphology of cellulose from the irregular clumps and fibrous masses entangled in the internals to discrete masses dispersing into the broth, which indicates that NaAlg hinders formation of large clumps of BC, and enhances cellulose yield. Because the structure of cellulose is changed depending on the culture condition such as additives, structural characteristics of BC produced in the NaAlg-free and NaAlg medium are compared using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD). SEM photographs show some differences in reticulated structures and ribbon width and FT-IR spectra indicate that there is the hydrogen bonding interaction between BC and NaAlg, then X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis reveals that BC produced with NaAlg-added has a lower crystallinity and a smaller crystalline size. The results show that enhanced yields and modification of cellulose structure occur in the presence of NaAlg.