Volatile fatty acids obtained from the fermentation of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste can be used as raw materials for non-toxic ethyl ester (EE) synthesis as well as feedstock for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Taking advantage of the concept of an integrated process of a bio-refinery, in the present paper, a systematic investigation on the extraction of intracellular poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), produced by mixed microbial culture by using EEs was reported. Among the tested EEs, ethyl acetate (EA) was the best solvent, dissolving the copolymer at the lowest temperature. Then, extraction experiments were carried out by EA at different temperatures on two biomass samples containing PHAs with different average molecular weights. The parallel characterization of the extracted and non-extracted PHAs evidenced that at the lower temperature (100◦C) EA solubilizes preferentially the polymer fractions richer in 3HV comonomers and with the lower molecular weight. By increasing the extraction temperature from 100◦C to 125◦C, an increase of recovery from about 50 to 80 wt% and a molecular weight reduction from 48% to 65% was observed. The results highlighted that the extracted polymer purity is always above 90 wt% and that it is possible to choose the proper extraction condition to maximize the recovery yield at the expense of polymer fractionation and degradation at high temperatures or use milder conditions to maintain the original properties of a polymer.

Ethylic esters as green solvents for the extraction of intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoates produced by mixed microbial culture

Valentino F.;
2021

Abstract

Volatile fatty acids obtained from the fermentation of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste can be used as raw materials for non-toxic ethyl ester (EE) synthesis as well as feedstock for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Taking advantage of the concept of an integrated process of a bio-refinery, in the present paper, a systematic investigation on the extraction of intracellular poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), produced by mixed microbial culture by using EEs was reported. Among the tested EEs, ethyl acetate (EA) was the best solvent, dissolving the copolymer at the lowest temperature. Then, extraction experiments were carried out by EA at different temperatures on two biomass samples containing PHAs with different average molecular weights. The parallel characterization of the extracted and non-extracted PHAs evidenced that at the lower temperature (100◦C) EA solubilizes preferentially the polymer fractions richer in 3HV comonomers and with the lower molecular weight. By increasing the extraction temperature from 100◦C to 125◦C, an increase of recovery from about 50 to 80 wt% and a molecular weight reduction from 48% to 65% was observed. The results highlighted that the extracted polymer purity is always above 90 wt% and that it is possible to choose the proper extraction condition to maximize the recovery yield at the expense of polymer fractionation and degradation at high temperatures or use milder conditions to maintain the original properties of a polymer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3746078
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