Synthesis of bacterial cellulose using hot water extracted wood sugars
Bacterial cellulose (BC), a type of nanopolymer produced by Acetobacter xylinum is a nanostructured material with unique properties and wide applicability. However, a standard medium used for the cultivation of BC, the Hestrin–Schramm medium, is expensive and prevents wide scale extension of BC applications. In this research, a relatively low-cost culture media was successfully developed from wood hot water extracts for the Acetobacter xylinus 23769 strain. Hot water extract (HWE) is a residual material originating from pulp mills and lignocellulosic biorefineries and consists of mainly monomeric sugars, organic acids and organics. The effects of different pH (5, 6, 7 and 8) and temperatures (26, 28 and 30 °C) were also examined in this research. There were no significant differences in the crystallinity and the recorded Iαfraction of cellulose produced between Hestrin–Schramm and the HWE medium. The maximum production of 0.15 g/l of BC was obtained at a pH of 8 and temperature of 28 °C. Glucose and xylose in the HWE were the main nutrient sources utilized in all BC cultivations based on high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) results. HWE was shown to be a suitable carbon source for BC production, and a process was established for BC production from lignocellulosic feedstocks without using any modification of the HWE. HWE is an abundant and relatively inexpensive forest by-product. Using HWE for BC production could reduce burdens on the environment and also, achieve the goal of large scale BC production at low cost without using added culture nutrients.