Polyhydroxy-Alcanoates (PHA), Polyhydroxy-Butyrate (PHB) and Polyhydroxy-Valerate (PHV) are a type of biodegradable plastics synthesized by microorganisms and used as a source of energy and carbon.
PHA/PHB/PHV can be obtained via biotechnological path and are totally biodegradable and biocompatible plastics. Their properties depend on monomers composition which, on the other hand, depend on the carbon source used for their synthesis.
PHA/PHB/PHV biotechnological production process consists of the following steps: fermentation, isolation and purification, mixing and granules processing.
Microorganisms involved in the production of PHA/PHB/PHV are of various kinds: a different mix of microorganisms, along with a different type of culture broth, brings to a wide range of products with distinct mechanical characteristics.
Physical and mechanical properties of this family of biodegradable plastics are very similar to those of the most common commercial plastics.