Production and Modification of PHA Polymers Produced from Long-Chain Fatty Acids

Authored by: Chris Dartiailh , Nazim Cicek , John L. Sorensen , David B. Levin

The Handbook of Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367275594
eBook ISBN: 9780429296611
Adobe ISBN:


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Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are renewable and biodegradable polyesters produced by a wide range of microorganisms. Some PHA polymers have been described with characteristics similar to a range of petroleum-derived polymers. However, their applications have been limited by production costs. Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are renewable substrates for PHA production with an abundance of waste sources suitable for lowering production cost. Production of medium-chain-length PHA (mcl-PHA) from unsaturated LCFAs results in longer monomer unit side-chains containing vinyl moieties. Although mcl-PHA produced from LCFAs have undesirable plastic film characteristics, they provide new avenues for chemical functionalization. The chapter describes production strategies for mcl-PHA production from LCFAs along with the reported modifications for novel polymer properties.

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