Recovery and Extraction of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolymers synthesized by various bacteria from renewable sources and have drawn much interest from academic and industrial communities for their unique properties of biodegradability and biocompatibility. Nevertheless, PHA production is restricted due to their high cost compared to petrochemical-based plastics, which is mainly affected by downstream processing. Therefore, the development of PHA extraction methods is required to make the overall process much simpler and cheaper. This chapter reviews a useful classification of different recovery methods that are available to extract PHAs from cells. It has been found that some of the most successful laboratory cell disruption techniques have no possibility of commercialization. Thus, a commercial recovery system with a simple, efficient and economical procedure will probably focus on a non-solvent extraction-based recovery amongst a variety of PHA recovery methods. It is seen that the halogen-free methods could be considered as green alternative technologies for PHA recovery which are able to eliminate the usage of harsh organic solvents and their negative impact on the environment.