Production of polyhydroxybutyrate by Bacillus species isolated from municipal activated sludge

Kin Ho Law, Yun Chung Leung, Hugh Lawford, Hong Chua, Wai Hung Lo, Peter Hoifu Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Plastic wastes are considered to be severe environmental contaminants causing waste disposal problems. Widespread use of biodegradable plastics is one of the solutions, but it is limited by high production cost. Biologic wastewater treatment generates large quantities of biomass as activated sludge. Only a few reports focus on the potential of utilizing resident Bacillus species from activated sludge in polyhydroxbutyrate (PHB) production as well as the production of PHB from food wastes. They have attractive properties such as short generation time, absence of endotoxins, and secretion of both amylases and proteinases that can well utilize food wastes for nutrients, which can further reduce the cost of production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Two PHA-producing strains, HF-1 and HF-2, were isolated from activated sludge. HF-1 outperformed HF-2 in terms of growth and PHB production in hydrolyzed soy and malt wastes. The isolated bacteria was characterized by DNA sequence alignment. Cell extracts of HF-1 were also compared to Bacillus megaterium cell extracts on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The biopolymers accumulated were analyzed by gas chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and Fourier transform infrared methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Part A Enzyme Engineering and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2001


  • Activated sludge
  • Bacillus
  • Fourier transform infrared
  • Inclusion body
  • Malt waste
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Polyhydroxybutyrates
  • Soy waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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