The molecular level characterization of biodegradable polymers originated from polyethylene using non-oxygenated polyethylene wax as a carbon source for polyhydroxyalkanoate production
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AbstractThere is an increasing demand for bio-based polymers that are developed from recycled materials. The production of biodegradable polymers can include bio-technological (utilizing microorganisms or enzymes) or chemical synthesis procedures. This report demonstrates the corroboration of the molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) obtained by the conversion of waste polyethylene (PE) via non-oxygenated PE wax (N-PEW) as an additional carbon source for a bacterial species. The N-PEW, obtained from a PE pyrolysis reaction, has been found to be a beneficial carbon source for PHA production with Cupriavidus necator H16. The production of the N-PEW is an alternative to oxidized polyethylene wax (O-PEW) (that has been used as a carbon source previously) as it is less time consuming to manufacture and offers fewer industrial applications. A range of molecular structural analytical techniques were performed on the PHAs obtained; which included nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Our study showed that the PHA formed from N-PEW contained 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB) with 11 mol% of 3-hydroxyvalerate (HV) units.
CitationJohnston B., Jiang G., Hill D., Adamus G., Kwiecień I., Zięba M., Sikorska W., Green M., Kowalczuk M., Radecka I., (2017) 'The Molecular Level Characterization of Biodegradable Polymers Originated from Polyethylene Using Non-Oxygenated Polyethylene Wax as a Carbon Source for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production', Bioengineering, 4 (3):73
SponsorsThis research was funded by the Research Investment Fund, University of Wolverhampton, Faculty of Science and Engineering, UK. This work was also partially supported under the EU 7FP BIOCLEAN Project, Contract No. 312100, “New biotechnological approaches for biodegrading and promoting the environmental biotransformation of synthetic polymeric materials”
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