Bioconversion process of polyethylene from Waste Tetra Pak® packaging to polyhydroxyalkanoates
Tchuenbou-Magaia, Fideline Laure
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AbstractPresented herein are the results of a novel recycling method for waste Tetra Pak® packaging materials. The polyethylene (PE-T) component of this packaging material, obtained via a separation process using a “solvents method”, was used as a carbon source for the biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by the bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16. Bacteria were grown for 48–72 h, at 30 °C, in TSB (nitrogen-rich) or BSM (nitrogen-limited) media supplemented with PE-T. Growth was monitored by viable counting. It was demonstrated that C. necator utilised PE-T in both growth media, but was only able to accumulate 40% w/w PHA in TSB supplemented with PE-T. Only 1.5% w/w PHA was accumulated in the TSB control, and no PHA was detected in the BSM control. Extracted biopolymers were characterised by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The characterisation of PHA by ESI-MS/MS revealed that PHA produced by C. necator in TSB supplemented with PE-T contained 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyvalerate, and 3-hydroxyhexanoate co-monomeric units. AMS analysis also confirmed the presence of 96.73% modern carbon and 3.27% old carbon in PHA derived from Tetra Pak®. Thus, this study demonstrates the feasibility of our proposed recycling method for waste Tetra Pak® packaging materials, alongside its potential for producing value-added PHA, and the ability of 14C analysis in validating this bioconversion process.
CitationEkere I, Johnston B, Tchuenbou-Magaia F, Townrow D, Wojciechowski S, Marek A, Zawadiak J, Duale K, Zieba M, Sikorska W, Adamus G, Goslar T, Kowalczuk M, Radecka I. (2022) Bioconversion Process of Polyethylene from Waste Tetra Pak® Packaging to Polyhydroxyalkanoates. Polymers, 14(14):2840. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142840
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by MDPI. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/14/14/2840
SponsorsThis work was partially supported by the University of Wolverhampton Research Investment Fund (RIF4), ERDF Science in Industry Research Centre (SIRC 01R19P03464), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 872152, project GREEN-MAP, the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship, and the Regional Operational Programme for the Małopolska Region for 2014–2020, with the grant number RPMP.01.02.01-12-0453/17.
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