Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates: Opportunities, challenges, and prospects

Manish Kumar, Rashmi Rathour, Rashmi Singh, Yuqing Sun, Ashok Pandey, Edgard Gnansounou, Kun Yi Andrew Lin, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Indu Shekhar Thakur

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Excessive utilization of synthetic plastics has led to a major detrimental impact on the environment. Plastic pollution and accumulation in water bodies have threatened the survival of marine life. Plastic pollution can be prevented by using biopolymers that are eco-friendly and can be naturally produced by certain living organisms. The biopolymers have environmental advantages over synthetic plastics, such as biodegradability and biocompatibility. In comparison to plants and other microbial systems, bacteria can accumulate a high amount of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). However, the major stumbling block in the production of bacterial PHAs is its low cost-effectiveness due to costs associated with fermentaion and down-stream processing. In consideration with the above properties, opportunities and challeges associated with bacterial PHAs, this review focuses on structural diversity of PHAs, biosynthesis mechanism in bacteria, biodegradation, life cycle analysis, and environmental impact of bioplastic production. It further enumerates the advanced tools and techniques for bacterial PHA production, along with various factors affecting the commercialization of bioplastics. Extraction methods, down-stream processing, and biomedical applications of PHAs are also discussed. The opportunities and challenges in the commercialization of bacterial PHAs along with future scenario and environmental sustainability are presented for the purpose of fostering sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121500
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Biomass valorization
  • Biomedical applications
  • Bioplastics production
  • Sustainable biorefinery
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates: Opportunities, challenges, and prospects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this