Influence of the total concentration and the profile of volatile fatty acids on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production by mixed microbial cultures
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DepartmentBiomedicina, Biotecnología y Salud Pública; Ingeniería Química y Tecnología de Alimentos; Tecnologías del Medio Ambiente
SourceBiomass Conv. Bioref. (2021)
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) production from lignocellulosic biomass using mixed microbial cultures (MMC) is a potential cheap alternative for reducing the use of petroleum-based plastics. In this study, an MMC adapted to acidogenic effluent from dark fermentation (DF) of exhausted sugar beet cossettes (ESBC) has been tested in order to determine its capability to produce PHAs from nine different synthetic mixtures of volatile fatty acids (VFAs). The tests consisted of mixtures of acetic, propionic, butyric, and valeric acids in the range of 1.5–9.0 g/L of total acidity and with three different valeric:butyric ratios (10:1, 1:1, and 1:10). Experimental results have shown a consistent preference of the MMC for the butyric and valeric acids as carbon source instead other shorter acids (propionic or acetic) in terms of PHA production yield (estimated in dry cell weight basis), with a maximum value of 23% w/w. Additionally, valeric-rich mixtures have demonstrated to carry out a fast degradation process but with poor final PHA production compared with high butyric mixtures. Finally, high initial butyric and valeric concentrations (1.1 g/L and 4.1 g/L) have demonstrated to be counterproductive to PHA production.