Bioconversion of Glycerine Pitch into a Novel Yellow-Pigmented P(3HB-co-4HB) Copolymer: Synergistic Effect of Ammonium Acetate and Polymer Characteristics

Abstract

Glycerine pitch waste generated from oleochemical industry was exploited as a carbon source for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB-co-4HB)) copolymer production by a novel, yellow-pigmented bacterium Cupriavidus sp. USMAHM13 to improve the economics of microbial polyhydroxyalkanoate production and to establish a feasible waste management approach. Medium optimization using response surface methodology through shake-flask fermentation had led to the accumulation of P(3HB-co-51%4HB) copolymer using a combination of glycerine pitch (10 g/l), 1,4-butanediol (8.14 g/l), and ammonium acetate (2.39 g/l). P(3HB-co-4HB) copolymers with 4HB monomer compositions ranged from 3 to 40 mol% were obtained through batch fermentation in a bioreactor using different concentrations of ammonium acetate. The copolymers exhibited a wide range of material properties depending on the monomer composition and type of carbon sources. P(3HB-co-40%4HB) was a typical random copolymer, whereas other P(3HB-co-4HB) produced were blend copolymers. Carotenoid pigment which was produced simultaneously with the polymer production was found to have negligible effect on the mechanical and thermal properties of the P(3HB-co-4HB) copolymer films.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by MOSTI, Malaysia (304/PBIOLOGI/650538/I121) and USM Science Fellowship (RU, 1001/441/29301/CIPS/AUPE001) awarded to Hema Ramachandran.

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Correspondence to A. A. Amirul.

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Ramachandran, H., Amirul, A.A. Bioconversion of Glycerine Pitch into a Novel Yellow-Pigmented P(3HB-co-4HB) Copolymer: Synergistic Effect of Ammonium Acetate and Polymer Characteristics. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 172, 891–909 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-013-0552-0

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Keywords

  • Ammonium acetate
  • Biopolymer
  • Carotenoid
  • Glycerine pitch
  • P(3HB-co-4HB)