Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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The solution claimed in this patent allows using the mutant bacterial strain of Rhodopseudomonas palustris for photofermentation of plant-based biomass. The reaction of photofermentation allows the production of hydrogen and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate, with consequent energetic valorisation of wastes and reusable, eco-compatible plastic production.

Technical features

The invention allows to produce recyclable and eco-compatible materials with plant biomass. The biomass used  for photofermentation are lignocellulosic crops, cereal crops, agro-industrial wet and dry residues, as wheat bran, maize, giant cane, olive pomace. The biomass is prepared with treatments pitting of olive pomace and silage; follow by a a dark fermentation step, allowing to enhance the production of hydrogen and methane gas with different results depending the biomass used. A subsequent photofermentation step, using purple non sulfur bacteria, will then start hydrogen biosynthesis and the production of polyhydroxybutyrate production in the effluent. The patented technology allows to transform agro-industrial residues into bacterial biomass rich in PHB. The best PHB yield obtained by photosynthetic red bacteria was 3% using pomace as an initial substrate.


Possible Applications

  • Biogas plants production companies;
  • Industrial photobioreactors production companies;
  • Biomass production companies;
  • Photofermentation plant users;
  • Bioplastic production companies.


  • Availability and reduced cost of biomass (agri-fod, agro-industrial and bioenergy waste as well as the organic part of solid urban residues)
  • Restoration of areas with environmental problems;
  • Valorization of peripheral territories;
  • Energetic valorization of wastes;
  • More efficient waste management;
  • Bioplastic production.