Ashik Sathish, Katherine Glaittli, Ronald C. Sims, and Charles D. Miller
Journal of Polymers and the Environment
In addition to biodiesel production from algae, the production of other valuable bioproducts facilitates the development of an algae-based biorefinery platform. The goal of this study was to utilize the aqueous fraction from a novel algal wet lipid extraction procedure as the medium for the production of a bio product, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), via the growth of recombinant Escherichia coli. PHB yield was measured at 34 % of the E. coli dry cell mass, and was increased to 51 % when the algae aqueous medium was supplemented with glucose. While the addition of inorganic nutrients to the aqueous phase did not increase PHB production or growth of E. coli, growth of E. coli was observed to increase with the supplementation of carbon substrate (glucose). The addition of carbon rich waste to the aqueous fraction of wastewater-derived algae may in the future provide a sustainable alternative. Future research will be directed at evaluating this concept to develop a sustainable process for the production of bioplastics through an algae-based biorefinery platform.
Sathish, A., Glaittli, K., Sims, R. C. & Miller, C. D. Algae Biomass Based Media for Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) Production by Escherichia coli. J. Polym. Environ. 1–6 doi:10.1007/s10924-014-0647-x