Bioresource Technology, Vol.222, 388-398, 2016
Biotransformation of volatile fatty acids to polyhydroxyalkanoates by employing mixed microbial consortia: The effect of pH and carbon source
Mixed microbial cultures that undergo successful enrichment, following eco-biotechnological approaches, to form a community dominant in polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) forming bacteria, represent an attractive economic alternative towards the production of those biopolymers. In the present study, an enriched mixed culture was investigated for the production of PHA at different initial pH values under non-controlled conditions in order to minimize process control and operational costs. Short-chain fatty acids were provided as PHA precursors and they were tested as sole carbon sources and as mixtures under nitrogen deficiency. By the obtained kinetic and stoichiometric parameters it was shown that at an initial pH value of 6.90 PHA production was favored. Butyrate was characterized as the preferred carbon source, whereas simultaneous feeding led to increased rates and yields when butyrate and acetate were present. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.