Enhancement of biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from Taihu blue algae by adding by-product acetic acid

Han Wang, Chaoyun Wang, Fang Guo, Jie Yu, Yi Zhang, Marie Harder, Ioanna Ntaikou, Georgia Antonopoulou, Gerasimos Lyberatos, Qun Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an easily obtained organic waste, by-product acetic acid could be an appropriate co-substrate with blue algae wastes (increase C/N ratio of substrates) for co-fermentation of PHA production. However, there are still acrylic acid and other chemicals in by-product acetic acid, which could cause severe inhibition for fermenting microorganisms during PHA production process. The current study represented that alkali pretreatment (pH level of 12) is a more favorable method compared with thermal pretreatment (80 ℃ for 30 min) for breaking cell walls of blue algae. It seemed that there was no synergistic effect of the combination of thermal and alkali pretreatment methods (temperature of 80 ℃ and pH level of 12). Optimal parameters during electro-fenton process for removal of inhibitors in by-product acetic acid were under current of 0.5 A, pH level of 3 and reaction time of 120 min. Both the highest dry weight of PHA and PHA concentration were achieved by applying blue algae and by-product acetic acid (after pretreatment) as co-substrates (mixed ratio of 3:1, stirring speed of 200 r/min, 24 h), indicating that using by-product acetic acid (after pretreatment) as co-substrate could increase C/N ratio and promote PHA production successfully. The current study could offer new insights for improving PHA production by co-fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China ( 2017YFE9133400 ), National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51908245 ), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities ( JUSRP11941 ), and the Pre-research Fund of Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Technology and Material of Water Treatment ( XTCXSZ2020-3 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blue algae
  • By-product acetic acid
  • Co-fermentation
  • Electro-fenton
  • PHA production


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