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Microbial synthesis and degradation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)

PhD ceremony:W. (Wen) Zhou, PhD
When:February 20, 2023
Supervisors:prof. dr. G.J.W. (Gert-Jan) Euverink, F. (Francesco) Picchioni, Prof Dr
Co-supervisor:dr. J. (Janneke) Krooneman
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering

Due to the widespread use of non-degradable plastics, plastics pollution becomes a serious issue. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) as a completely biodegradable plastics produced by bacteria that can provide an approach to solving plastic pollution in the future. The biggest challenge of PHAs usage is the high cost of production. My research is to address this problem. Various waste feedstocks provide enough low-cost carbon sources to obtain sustainable PHAs production. Therefore, cheap substrates like wheat straw and corn stover and a simple operation process without complicated sterilization are utilized in my research. After four years of research, 80 % PHAs of dry cell mass are obtained from xylose (the price is cheaper than glucose) as the sole carbon source by the thermophilic S. thermodepolymerans, which provides a fundamental for the further research and industry.