Using inorganic acids to stop purple phototrophic bacteria metabolism improves PHA recovery at a large scale
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production at a large scale by purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) is hindered due to high production costs and limited recovery due to its consumption during starvation periods. The present study identifed costefective inorganic acids as inactivation methods for PPB to obtain higher PHA recovery. The study was performed on reactors of diferent scales (10 L and 0.5 L) to grow PPB and recover PHA subsequently. The permanent feast strategy was adopted to obtain higher PHA in an anaerobic environment. As a result, the study achieved 33% (dry weight) PHA recovery using inorganic acid inactivation, while formaldehyde inactivation (traditional method) achieved signifcantly lower PHA recovery (20% only). The results from inorganic acid inactivation were further examined for their stability. The samples were stable even after day 14, and the PHA recovery was the same as on day 0. This pioneering study shows that inorganic acids can be used to inactivate the PPB metabolism to obtain higher PHA recovery; inorganic acid inactivation could be economical for large-scale PHA production.
Acknowledgements DP greatly appreciates the economic support the Spanish Ministry of Economy provided through the Ramon y Cajal Program. Funding Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. This work has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 837998. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and the Bio-based Industries Consortium.
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