Manufacturing technology of PHA

Introduction to PHA  

      Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is one of storage polyesters synthesized in some bacterial cells under unbalanced nutrient conditions (e.g. short of nitrogen, or phosphorus, or magnesium), functions as starch in plants and fat in animals. It has been found to occur in over 300 genera of bacteria, encompassing Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. Over 90 kinds of PHA have been characterized, the majority of them are composed of D-(-)-poly-3-hydroxyalknoic acid monomers ranging from C3 to C14 (figure 1). With different R groups, chain lengths, and site of hydroxyl group in monomers, various PHAs are formed.

      PHA can be classified into three groups: short-chain-length PHA with C3-C5 monomers, such as poly-3-hydrobutyrate(PHB); medium-chain-length PHA with C6-C14 monomers, such as poly-3-hydroxyoctanoate(PHO); and copolymer by different monomers, such as poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate(PHBV).

      The water insoluble PHA exhibits high molecular weight, thermoplastic and/or elastomeric features as well as other interesting physical and material properties. Therefore, they have attracted increasing attention from scientific and industrial communities due to their interesting properties including biodegradability, biocompatibility and piezoelectricity.

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