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The Hyperproduction of Polyhydroxybutyrate Using Bacillus mycoides ICRI89 through Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Affordable Cardboard

Bioplastics are contemplated as remarkable substitutes for conventional plastics to accommodate green technological advancements. However, their industrial production has not been fully implemented owing to the cost of carbon resources. From another perspective, valorizing different paper mill wastes has become a prominent research topic. These materials may serve as an affording sustainable feedstock for bioplastic production. Adjustment of cardboard waste hydrolysate as suitable fermentation media for production of bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) has been investigated. Cardboard samples were defibered and dried before enzymatic hydrolysis. The enzymatic degradation of commercial cellulase was monitored over 15 days. Interestingly, 18.2 ± 0.2 g/L glucose yield was obtained from 50 g cardboard samples using a 1.5% (v/v) enzyme concentration. The samples exhibited maximum weight loss values of 69–73%. Meanwhile, five soil samples were collected from local sites in Lodz, Poland. A total of 31 bacterial isolates were screened and cultured on Nile blue plates. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence of the most potent producer revealed 100% similarity to Bacillus mycoides. Cardboard hydrolysates whole medium, modified MSM with cardboard hydrolysate and nitrogen depleted MSM with cardboard hydrolysate were utilized for PHA production, followed by PHA productivity and cell dry weight (CDW) estimation compared to glucose as a standard carbon source. An impressive PHA accumulation of 56% CDW was attained when the waste hydrolysate was used as a carbon source. FTIR and NMR analysis of the isolated PHA indicated that functional groups of the polymer were related to PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). Thermal analysis demonstrates that PHB and PHB-CB (PHB produced from cardboard hydrolysate) have degradation temperatures of 380 and 369 °C, respectively, which reflect the high thermal stability and heat resistance compared to the same properties for a standard polymer. This is the first demonstration of full saccharification of corrugated cardboard paper waste for high-level production of PHA. In addition, the attained PHB productivity is one of the highest levels achieved from a real lignocellulosic waste.

Publication date: 10/07/2022

Author: Fady Abdelmalek

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14142810

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.