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Large scale extraction of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) from Ralstonia eutropha H16 using sodium hypochlorite

Daniel Heinrich1, Mohamed H Madkour2, Mansour A Al-Ghamdi2, Ibraheem I Shabbaj2 and Alexander Steinbüchel12*

Author Affiliations

1 Institut für Molekulare Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstraße 3, D-48149, Münster, Germany

2 Environmental Sciences Department, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi-Arabia

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AMB Express 2012, 2:59  doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-59

Published: 19 November 2012


Isolation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from bacterial cell matter is a critical step in order to achieve a profitable production of the polymer. Therefore, an extraction method must lead to a high recovery of a pure product at low costs. This study presents a simplified method for large scale poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), poly(3HB), extraction using sodium hypochlorite. Poly(3HB) was extracted from cells of Ralstonia eutropha H16 at almost 96% purity. At different extraction volumes, a maximum recovery rate of 91.32% was obtained. At the largest extraction volume of 50 L, poly(3HB) with an average purity of 93.32% ± 4.62% was extracted with a maximum recovery of 87.03% of the initial poly(3HB) content. This process is easy to handle and requires less efforts than previously described processes.

Poly (3-hydroxybutyrate); Polyhydroxyalkanoates; Ralstonia eutropha; PHA recovery; Sodium hypochlorite; Downstream process