An advanced model-based strategy to optimize the microbial production of biodegradable polymers under fed-batch conditions

Conference Dates

May 20-25, 2018


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a class of microbially produced and completely biodegradable polymers with excellent mechanical properties, have the potential of partially replacing currently used synthetic polymers (e.g., polypropylene, etc.) in several applications.1,2 Despite the fact that their fermentative production is well known and demonstrated, their commercial development is still impeded by their high production cost, low productivity, high separation cost and the inability to efficiently control their molecular properties.1 To overcome the above limitations, an integrated mathematical model, consisting of metabolic, polymerization and macroscopic sub-models, was developed in this work to simulate and optimize the fermentative production of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB, i.e., the first that was discovered and most studied PHA).2 This multi-scale mathematical model was validated against a series of statistically design experimental data, using a robust wild-type PHB producer, namely, Azohydromonas lata bacteria.

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