Microbial Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs): Efficient Replacement of Synthetic Polymers

Date of publication 15 June 2020

Authors Muneer, Faizan; Rasul, Ijaz; Azeem, Farrukh; Siddique, Muhammad Hussnain; Zubair, Muhammad; Nadeem, Habibullah.

Sources Journal of Polymers and the Environment :

DOILink https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-020-01772-1


Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolyesters produced by microorganisms as intracellular granules under nutrient stress. Due to non-toxic and biodegradable behavior these polyesters are a sustainable source of wide range of biomaterials such as bioplastics. As a result of excellent polymeric properties such as melting temperatures (T-m), glass transition temperature (T-g), crystallinity, Young’s modulus and stress to break ratio these polyesters are capable of replacing the synthetic plastics. Bioplastics produced using PHAs as biomass source can be used for packaging material and disposable products on the other hand biofuels can also be generated using PHAs. PHAs find countless applications in industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and health. A large number of bacterial, microalgal and fungal species can produce these polyesters. Bacterial species such as Bacillus megaterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. oleovorans, P. stutzeri and Cupriavidus necator are some highly studied microorganisms for PHA production. This review summarizes the most important aspects of PHAs, crystalline and granular structure of PHA biosynthesizing genes and their relevant proteins. Thermal and physical properties, sources, extraction, purification methods of PHAs are briefly discussed. Applications of PHAs, phylogenetic analysis of Pseudomonas sp. in term of its PHAs synthesizing genes, future prospects and possible outcomes are discussed.

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