SUGAR MILL INDUSTRY EFFLUENT AS A SUBSTRATE FOR POLYHYDROXYALKANOATE (PHA) PRODUCTIONNITESH KUMAR SAXENA, PRIYAM TYAGI AND AARTI SHARMA
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are natural biodegradable polyhydroxyesters mainly produced by a large array of bacterial species under nutritional stress or limiting conditions. PHA has salient properties like biocompatibility, non-toxic nature, high tensile strength, biodegradability, good ultraviolet resistance and water insolubility. Sugar industry is the backbone of the rural industrial economy, the waste generated in the production process contains severe pollutants. The current research focuses on utilization of this sugar mill effluent as a substrate for the production of PHA from bacteria. The study also demonstrates the standardization of various parameters which help in utilization of sugar mill effluent for maximum PHA production. Maximum PHA yield was obtained at pH 7.5 with peptone as a nitrogen source, when supplemented with 40% SME. Lab scale batch fermentation yielded 35.2% PHA from dry cell weight. Thus, the novel utilization of sugar mill effluent as a substrate for PHA production is demonstrated. This allows potential cost reduction in the polymer production process while also remediating the industrial effluent.