Simplified recovery process of Ralstonia solanacearum-synthesized polyhydroxyalkanoates via chemical extraction complemented by liquid-liquid phase separation


Quím. Nova




Poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)) is the most studied thermoplastic biopolymer belonging to the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family, the main features of which include rapid biodegradability and biocompatibility. The bioplastic recovery process is an important step during production and can directly influence the characteristics of PHAs. However, more efficient methods for the production of P(3HB) are necessary to make it economically viable. The aim of the present study was to improve the standard, chloroform-based, extraction step for the recovery of P(3HB). The polymer was produced using a Ralstonia solanacearum strain. The following parameters were improved in the recovery process: heating time, separation method (filtration or liquid-liquid phase separation), biomass state (fresh or dry cell concentrate) and the solvent:biomass ratio. By improving the chemical extraction of P(3HB) we recovered 98% of the cumulative polymer and reduced the heating time by 75%. Furthermore, we improved the separation process and developed an extraction solution that was faster and more economical.

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