Bioresource Technology | VOL. 360

Production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) from five commercial bioplastics via acidogenic fermentation

Publication Date Sep 1, 2022


The feasibility of producing volatile fatty acids (VFAs) from five commercial bioplastics via acidogenic fermentation by a non-pretreated anaerobic sludge was investigated. Mesophilic, anaerobic, acidogenic batch assays at 1, 10 and 20g/L feed concentrations revealed the feasibility of producing VFAs from polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), i.e., PHB and PHBV, but not from PBS, PCL and PLA under the test conditions and time. However, only high PHA substrate concentrations (10-20g/L) resulted in organic overloading and decreasing the pH of the culture broth down to 4-5, which in turn induced the accumulation of VFAs via kinetic imbalance between acidogenesis and methanogenesis. Gaseous carbon (C-CO2 and C-CH4) accounted for 8-35% of the total initial carbon, while C-VFAs represented 10-18%, mainly as acetate and butyrate. This study represents the first systematically assessed proof-of-concept to produce VFAs from PHA, which is key for the design of bioplastic-to-bioplastic recycling (bio)technologies.


Volatile Fatty Acids Polyhydroxyalkanoates Kinetic Imbalance Acidogenic Fermentation Organic Overloading pH Of Broth Test Conditions High Substrate Concentrations Gaseous Carbon Recycling Technologies

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