Bioconversion of wastes into polyhydroxyalkanoates and recovery of co-products at pilot scale

Sustainable biomaterials and biofuels are a critical matter that researchers are employed in. Based on sustainability issues different wastes such as paper mill activated sludge and waste cooking oil have been utilized for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production. Large quantities of paper mill activated sludge is produced in North America, and its safe disposal in environment is a worldwide problem. Bioconversion of wastes for value-added products can be an alternative approach, where bioplastic production (PHA) will be an interesting approach in concern to present problem of petroplastics. Also, the simultaneous recovery of co-products (exopolysaccharides and proteins) using pure culture with PHA production can reduce the overall process cost. Several studies were done in last few decades to produce PHA using mixed microbial culture. However, PHA production using pure culture and utilization of hydrolyzed activated sludge with addition of extra industrial waste as a carbon source can be an alternative approach. INRS group isolated PHA producing microorganisms from activated sludge. Thus, we propose an innovative approach to use pure culture for PHA production using paper mill activated sludge and other waste substrates. The approach will investigate various strategies to enhance PHA accumulation, process validation and scale-ups, and process development for recovery of co-products.

Anita Kumari
Superviseur universitaire: 
Patrick Drogui
Partner University: