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Bioresource Technology, Vol.287, 2019
Application of thermo-separating aqueous two-phase system in extractive bioconversion of polyhydroxyalkanoates by Cupriavidus necator H16
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a family of biodegradable and renewable biopolymers show a huge potential as an alternative to conventional plastics. Extractive bioconversion (in situ product recovery) is a technique that integrates upstream fermentation and downstream purification. In this study, extractive bioconversion of PHAs from Cupriavidus necator H16 was performed via a thermo-separating aqueous two-phase system to reduce the cost and environmental impacts of PHAs production. Key operating parameters, such as polymer concentration, temperature, and pH, were optimized. The strategy achieved a yield and PF of 97.6% and 1.36-fold, respectively at 5% EOPO 3900 concentration, 30 degrees C fermentation temperature and pH 6. The PHAs production process was also successfully scaled up in a 2 L bioreactor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on extractive fermentation of PHAs from Cupriavidus necator utilizing a thermo-separation system to achieve a better productivity and purity of the target product.