Technological Advances in the Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate Biopolymers


Purpose of Review

This review paper focuses on the recent advances made in the area of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production for their commercialization purposes. Based on recent literature reports, the paper summarizes the major challenges faced by researchers concerning the industrial aspects of bioprocessing and downstream recovery, and the development of superior strains via metabolic engineering approaches for enhanced PHA production.

Recent Findings

Previous reports have shown that the researchers are now shifting towards upcycling of plastic waste and recycling of organic waste for both bioenergy and bio-polyester production, next-generation industrial biotechnology techniques, and metabolic engineering strategies of ribosome-binding site optimization, CRISPR/Cas9, and engineering cell growth pattern and shapes for downstream recovery, for high-throughput and cost-efficient PHA production at industrial scale.


The recent findings indicate that the use of organic waste substrates, development of high-yielding microbial strains, and multistage cultivation strategies with cell recycling could help in minimizing the production costs of PHA and facilitate their commercialization. Nowadays, the continuous and non-sterile bioreactor processes based on mixed cultures or extremophiles, and/or mixed substrates, along with environmentally benign low-cost downstream recovery strategies are recommended. Therefore, the trend is towards the application of combined technologies to maximize PHA production while reducing production costs.

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Fig. 1


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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All authors wants to thank Defence Research & Development Organization Headquarter, New Delhi, India, for providing all the facilities.

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Correspondence to Geeta Gahlawat.

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Gahlawat, G., Kumari, P. & Bhagat, N.R. Technological Advances in the Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate Biopolymers. Curr Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep (2020).

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  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Sustainable
  • Organic waste
  • High throughput
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Downstream recovery