Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 254–257 | Cite as

Utilization of Broken Rice for the Production of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)

  • Charles U. Ugwu
  • Yutaka Tokiwa
  • Hideki Aoyagi
Brief Communication


The feasibility of utilizing non edible rice (broken rice) for production of fine materials such as poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) was considered as one of the alternative ways of keeping the environment clean for sustainable development. Thus, production of PHB from broken rice by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was investigated. During the SSF process, the rice (15% w/v) material was hydrolyzed to glucose, which was utilized by Cupriavidus necator for growth and production of PHB. The PHB content reached 38% at 58 h fermentation. The PHB had weight average molar mass (Mw) and polydipersity index of 3.82 × 105 (g/mol) and 4.15, respectively. Differential calorimetric scan of the PHB showed a melting temperature (Tm) of 176 °C. Given that the PHB was a homopolymer (which consisted of (R)-3-hydroxybutyric acid monomers), it was thought that broken rice could be a raw material for production of both PHB and (R)-3-hydroxybutyric acid. This SSF process would not only help in the utilization of broken rice or non edible rice, but would also serve as a model for utilization of other raw materials that contain starch for production of PHB.


Broken rice Cupriavidus necatoMelting temperature Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles U. Ugwu
    • 1
  • Yutaka Tokiwa
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hideki Aoyagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Okinawa Industrial Technology Center (OITC)UrumaJapan

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