Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
The microbial polyesters known as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) positively impact global climate change scenarios by reducing the amount of non-degradable plastic used. A wide variety of different monomer compositions of PHAs has been described, as well as their future prospects for applications where high biodegradability or biocompatibility is required. PHAs can be produced from renewable raw materials and are degraded naturally by microorganisms that enable carbon dioxide and organic compound recycling in the ecosystem, providing a buffer to climate change. This review summarizes recent research on PHAs and addresses the opportunities as well as challenges for their place in the global market.