Practical Guide to Microbial Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Kumar Sudesh and Hideki Abe 
RAPRA  2010  

Soft back  150 pp  ISBN 9781847351180      £50.00

Hard cover  150 pp  ISBN 9781847351173      £75.00
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are plastic-like polymers produced naturally by many types of bacteria. PHA are among the most promising next generation plastics because they are biodegradable and can be produced using renewable resources.

This Practical Guide to Microbial Polyhroxyalkanoates provides detailed information on the various microbial aspects that govern the design and synthesis of commercially useful PHA. Unlike chemical polymerisation processes, the microbial system involves multiple biological catalysts that convert renewable carbon sources into monomers and finally high molecular weight polymers in an aqueous environment and at ambient conditions. This rather complicated process will be described by giving specific and well-established examples along with new and recent findings.

This book provides the reader with important information on the crystalline and solid-state structures of PHA as well as the physical and mechanical properties. This Practical Guide also gives information on the nature and mechanism of PHA biodegradation as these are the factors that will determine the final applications.


1. Background

2. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) Types
2.1 Naturally Occurring PHA 2.2 Unnatural PHA

3. Microbiology of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Synthesis

4. Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)

5. Extraction and Purification of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from Microbial Cells

6. Crystalline and Solid-State Structures of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
6.1 Poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (P(3HB)) 6.2 Poly[(R)-3-hydroxyvalerate] (P(3HV)) 6.3 Medium-chain-length Poly[(R)-3-hydroxyalkanoate]s (mcl-P(3HA)) 6.4 Poly(4-hydroxybutyrate) (P(4HB)) 6.5 Poly(3-hydroxypropionate) (P(3HP)) 6.6 Poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate]-based Copolymers

7. Physical Properties of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
7.1 Crystallisation Kinetics 7.2 Thermal Properties 7.3 Mechanical Properties

8. Intracellular Degradation (mobilisation) of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
8.1 Endogeneous Degradation of PHA 8.2 Intracellular P(3HB) Depolymerases and Degradation Systems 8.3 Intracellular 3HB Oligomer Hydrolases 8.4 Intracellular mcl-PHA Depolymerases

9. Extracellular Degradation of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
9.1 Effect of Environmental Conditions on the Degradation of PHA 9.2 Structure and Properties of PHA-degrading Enzymes 9.3 Effect of Chemical Structures on Enzymatic Degradability 9.4 Effect of Solid-State Structures on Enzymatic Degradability 9.5 Molecular Mechanisms of the Enzymatic Degradation of PHA 9.6 Conclusion and Future Perspectives


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