Polyhydroxyalkanoates: Biodegradable Plastics and Their Applications

  • Abhilasha Singh MathuriyaEmail author
  • J. V. Yakhmi
Reference work entry


Human civilization has experienced several ages such as stone, bronze, iron, and steel, and now it is a plastic age. Due to multifaceted properties of plastic, it is one of the most widely available and overused item in the world today and became a necessary evil. When disposed, it does not decompose and pollutes the land or air nearby when burned in the open air. Plastic pollution is affecting the global economy. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) have been drawing much attention as biodegradable substitutes for conventional nondegradable plastics. PHAs are synthesized by numerous bacteria as carbon and energy storage capsules and are good candidates as biodegradable plastic material. Because of their versatility and wide range of properties, biodegradable PHAs are being used in various areas of modern benefits. With the currently increased interest level and the extensive research being carried out in this area, PHAs are potentially emerging as environmentally friendly materials of the next generation with a wide range of applicability. This chapter deals with the recent advances in applicability of PHAs.

List of Abbreviations


3-Hydroxyvaleric acid


Hydroxyalkanoic acid


3-hydroxybutyric acid


3-Hydroxydecanoic acid




4-Hydroxybutyric acid


Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid





P(3HB-3 HV-3HHx)/ P(3HB-co-3 HV-co-3HHx)






P(3HB-4HB-3 HV)


P(3HB-co- 3 HV)/ P(3HB-3 HV)











Polyglycollic acid




Poly (3- hydroxybutyrate)




Poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric acid)/ polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate






5,10,15,20-Tetrakis(4-hydroxy-phenyl)-21H, 23H–porphine


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologySchool of Engineering and Technology, Sharda UniversityGreater NoidaIndia
  2. 2.Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI)Anushaktinagar, MumbaiIndia

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