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From carbon waste to carbon product: converting oxalate to polyhydroxybutyrate using a mixed microbial culture

White, C., Laird, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0001-7550-4607 and Hughes, L.J.ORCID: 0000-0001-6496-988X (2017) From carbon waste to carbon product: converting oxalate to polyhydroxybutyrate using a mixed microbial culture. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 5 (3). pp. 2362-2365.

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Many industries outside the food sector produce waste streams containing highly oxidised forms of carbon waste, e.g. oxalate is a major by-product of the alumina industry. That carbon is a potential resource for bio-based transformation to marketable products. For the first time, a mixed microbial culture (MMC) has been used to convert oxalate to the biocompatible biopolymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in non-trivial amounts (∼4.5% by weight). This is an order of magnitude greater than any previous report of oxalate to polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) conversion. An enriched culture capable of oxalate conversion was produced from a standard wastewater treatment inoculum without pre-acclimatising with a more reduced feedstock, e.g. acetate, or the need for expensive culture sterilisation. Oxalate utilisation and conversion was characterised under different pH conditions and oxalate concentrations (up to saturation). These findings indicate that valorization of waste streams containing highly oxidised waste carbon is a real possibility

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
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