Extracting polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymer from bacterial cells often involves harsh conditions, including use of environmentally harmful solvents. We evaluated different detergents under various conditions to extract PHA from Ralstonia eutropha and Escherichia coli cells. Most detergents tested recovered highly pure PHA polymer from cells in amounts that depended on the percentage of polymer present in the cell. Detergents such as linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid (LAS-99) produced a high yield of high purity polymer, and less detergent was needed compared to the amount of SDS to produce comparable yields. LAS-99 also has the advantage of being biodegradable and environmentally safe. Chemical extraction of PHA with detergents could potentially minimize or eliminate the need to use harsh organic solvents, thus making industrial PHA production a cleaner technology process.
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011