Microbial Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates by Bacteria Isolated from Oil Wastes

  • Ai Ling Wong
  • Hong Chua
  • Peter Hoi Fu Yu
Part of the Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology book series (ABAB)


A Gram-positive coccus-shaped bacterium capable of synthesizing higher relative molecular weight (M r) polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was isolated from sesame oil and identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis (by Microbial ID, Inc., Newark, NJ). The experiment was conducted by shake flask fermentation culture using media containing fructose. Cell growth up to a dry mass of 2.5 g/L and PHB accumulation up to 15.02% of cell dry wt was observed. Apart from using single carbohydrate as a sole carbon source, various industrial food wastes including sesame oil, ice cream, malt, and soya wastes were investigated as nutrients for S. epidermidis to reduce the cost of the carbon source. As a result, we found that by using malt wastes as nutrient for cell growth, PHB accumulation of S. epidermidis was much better than using other wastes as nutrient source. The final dried cell mass and PHB production using malt wastes were 1.76 g/L and 6.93% polymer/cells (grams/gram), and 3.5 g/L and 3.31% polymer/cells (grams/gram) in shake flask culture and in fermentor culture, respectively. The bacterial polymer was characterized by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), 13C-NMR, Fourier transform infrared, and differential scanning calorimetry. The results show that with different industrial food wastes as carbon and energy sources, the same biopolymer (PHB) was obtained. However, the use of sesame oil as the carbon source resulted in the accumulation of PHB with a higher melting point than that produced from other food wastes as carbon sources by this organism under similar experimental conditions.

Index Entries

Staphylococcus epidermidis polyhydroxybutyrate food wastes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ai Ling Wong
    • 1
  • Hong Chua
    • 2
  • Peter Hoi Fu Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Open Laboratory of Chirotechnology and Department of Applied Biology and Chemical TechnologyHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonChina

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