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The large quantities of non-degradable single use plastics, production and disposal, in addition to increasing amounts of municipal and industrial wastewaters are among the major global issues known today. Biodegradable plastics from biopolymers such as Poly-β-hydroxybutyrates (PHB) produced by microorganisms are potential substitutes for non-degradable petroleum-based plastics. This paper reviews the current status of wastewater-cultivated microbes utilized in PHB production, including the various types of wastewaters suitable for either pure or mixed culture PHB production. PHB-producing strains that have the potential for commercialization are also highlighted with proposed selection criteria for choosing the appropriate PHB microbe for optimization of processes. The biosynthetic pathways involved in producing microbial PHB are also discussed to highlight the advancements in genetic engineering techniques. Additionally, the paper outlines the factors influencing PHB production while exploring other metabolic pathways and metabolites simultaneously produced along with PHB in a bio-refinery context. Furthermore, the paper explores the effects of extraction methods on PHB yield and quality to ultimately facilitate the commercial production of biodegradable plastics. This review uniquely discusses the developments in research on microbial biopolymers, specifically PHB and also gives an overview of current commercial PHB companies making strides in cutting down plastic pollution and greenhouse gases. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ayesha Algade Amadu, Shuang Qiu, Shijian Ge, Gloria Naa Dzama Addico, Gabriel Komla Ameka, Ziwei Yu, Wenhao Xia, Abdul-Wahab Abbew, Dadong Shao, Pascale Champagne, Sufeng Wang. A review of biopolymer (Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate) synthesis in microbes cultivated on wastewater. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Feb 20;756:143729

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PMID: 33310224

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