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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 705359, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/705359
Research Article

Electrospun Fibres of Polyhydroxybutyrate Synthesized by Ralstonia eutropha from Different Carbon Sources

1Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1SB, UK
2Biomaterials Group, School of Metallurgy and Materials, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Curie-Skłodowska Street, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland

Received 24 June 2014; Accepted 26 August 2014; Published 11 September 2014

Academic Editor: Yulin Deng

Copyright © 2014 Victor U. Irorere et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The properties of PHB may be affected by the carbon source used in its production and this may affect nanofibres made from this polymer by electrospinning. In this study, P(3-HB) was produced from glucose, rapeseed oil, and olive oil by Ralstonia eutropha H16. Cell growth and polymer production were higher in olive or rapeseed oil supplemented media compared to glucose supplemented media. FT-IR, 1H-, 13C-NMR, and ESI/MSn confirmed that the synthesized polymers were P(3-HB). SEM micrograph showed the formation of nanofibres from P(3-HB) samples with the fibre diameters dependent on the source of the carbon used in polymer synthesis and the concentration of the polymer in the electrospinning solution. GPC showed that P(3-HB) from glucose (G-PHB) had a higher molecular weight ( gmol−1) compared to P(3-HB) from rapeseed (R-PHB) and olive (O-PHB) oil. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed that the crystallinity of the electrospun polymers reduces with decreasing polymer concentration with R-PHB having lower crystallinity at all concentrations used. These observation shows that more PHB yield can be obtained using either rapeseed or olive oil compared to glucose with glucose producing polymers of higher molecular weight. It also show that electrospinning could be used to reduce the crystallinity of PHB fibres.