Polyhydroxyalkanoates: Characteristics, production, recent developments and applications

Zulfiqar Ali Raza, Sharjeel Abid, Ibrahim M Banat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

425 Citations (Scopus)


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolyesters, stored within cells as energy storage materials by various microorganisms. Due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability, PHAs have a wide range of applications in various industries such as biomedical sector including tissue engineering, bio-implant patches, drug delivery, surgery and wound dressing. PHAs are green plastics and they have positive social and environmental impact when compared with conventional plastics in terms of production and recycling. Moreover, PHAs do not possess acute and chronic health effects when used in vivo. These bioplastics represent a renewable and sustainable resource to reduce landfill requirements without being persistence or causing pollution. A wide range of carbon sources, bacterial strains, fermentation conditions and recovery methods have been purposed by various researchers for better yield and economical perspectives. Recent advancements in synthetic biology and genetic engineering has led to the production of PHAs from non-PHAs producing strains with no toxins. Progression in recovery techniques has improved the extraction efficacy from biomass with high purity. This review outlines production and characteristics of PHAs, developments in their production, and applications in various industries including nanotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Early online date4 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished online - 4 Oct 2017


  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Biopolyester
  • Bioplastic
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polyester


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