Deliverable 3.1 - Report on PHA characterization

Abstract

This report deals with the set-up of the methods used to characterize the molecular weight, the thermal properties as well as the infrared spectroscopic features of PHA sample obtained from the different extraction procedures carried out by UNIRM and Biotrend on biomass from pilot plant of Treviso (operated by UNIRM and UNIVE) and Lisbon (operated by Novaid), resectively. The methods and procedures were selected according to some key needs such as small sample amount, rapidity and standardization. As well as the set-up of the methods, the report also includes relevant characterization results.

To this end, the thermal properties were analyzed by thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DCS), whereas the PHA molecular weights were determined by solution viscosity measurements. On the other hand, the spectroscopic features of the samples were evaluated by Attenuated Total Reflection FTIR (ATR-FTIR).

When possible, the results were correlated in order to evaluate the effects of the extraction treatments on the sample chemical physical properties. In addition, the results of the characterizations were shared with the groups involved in the PHA production and extraction. Up to now, more than 50 samples were characterized by nearly all the investigation techniques.