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Degredable polymers of D-lactate from renewables

Hamamcı, Haluk
Harun, Onlu
The production of biodegradable plastics is of increasing interest because of environmental concerns. For the same reasons the utilization of renewable materials for the production of such materials is also being supported. Lactic acid polymers are among the biodegradable materials that are being produced and whose production capacity is increasing. Lactic acid has two chiral forms, D (-) and L (+); both of which can be produced by fermentation. These chiral forms, when polymerized may have distinct properties; so both are important from the materials science point of view. In this work we attempted to produce D (-) lactic acid from renewable materials like sunflower seed hulls or wood shavings by using Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus strains isolated from different home-made yogurts. The strains were tested for their chiral lactate production and the better producers were chosen and subjected to fermentation tests. By several methods of neutralization, N-source supplementation and Na-Acetate addition so far we could reach a level of 80 g/L D (-) lactate production.