Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production Using Volatile Fatty Acids Derived from the Anaerobic Digestion of Waste Paper

Huda Al Battashi, Shatha Al-Kindi, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Nallusamy Sivakumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Waste paper as a resource for polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production through anaerobic digestion is a low-cost strategy to produce bioplastic. In this study, volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced from waste paper, one of the significant constituents of municipal solid waste, was utilized as a feedstock for polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production. PHA production from synthetic VFAs by Cupriavidus necator was initially optimized under different VFAs concentrations, VFAs ratios, and nitrogen sources. VFAs concentration of 10 g/L, 5:1:4 ratio of acetic, propionic, and butyric acids (HAc:HPr:HBu) and NaNO3 as nitrogen source were considered the optimum conditions with 56.98% PHA and 0.31 g/g yield. Anaerobic digestion of shredded office paper (OP/S) produced the maximum VFAs (521.50 mg/L) after 15 days of incubation and were utilized for PHA synthesis. Almost 2.24-fold increase in the yield of PHA was achieved with limited nutrient medium compared to nutrient contained medium with a PHA content of 53.50 and 23.88%, respectively. PHA production using anaerobic effluent of waste paper is a promising approach where a series of pretreatment processes, the expensive enzymatic hydrolysis, and detoxification were no longer required, suggesting an environmentally friendly way of biopolymer production.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Polymers and the Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Volatile fatty acids
  • Waste paper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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