Biomaterials that fit this description are bioplastics, or bacterial plastics. Bacterial plastics or polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are carbon polymer chains, optically active and completely biodegradable. These polymers were first discovered in 1926 by Lemoigne, but have only been better studied and researched from the 1970s on, as an alternative to the firs oil crisis. Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most common polymer in nature (Anderson and Dawes, 1990) and, therefore, the most studied. PHA can be used in several areas, such as raw material in the manufacture of packaging for cleaning, toiletries, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals products; bags and containers for fertilizers and pesticide; seeding pots and injected products, toys and school supplies. Moreover, it is biocompatible and easily absorbed by human body, can be used on the medical-pharmaceutical sector; is being used in the manufacture of suture thread, bone prosthesis and capsules that release drugs gradually into the bloodstream (Zhao et al., 2003; Chen and Wu, 2005)
Environmental pollutants are toxic components to all living organisms. They are placed in the environment at high concentrations or accumulated over time, as a result of human activity, as the case o...
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...nsforming it from intangible to tangible. Thereunto there are used microbiological fuel cells (MFCs) or microbiological solar cells (MSC) (Strike et al., 2011, Qian et al., 2011, Yuan et al., 2011). MFCs and MSCs can be composed by several organisms, each of them with positive and negative peculiarities, using simple or complex compounds as substrate. However, the highest levels of energy were obtained from simple substrates such as glucose and acetate. The energy can reach 980 mW/m2 using algae and 114 mW/m2 at 113 mg COD/L concentration using cyanobacteria (Velasquez-Orta et al., 2009, Yuan et al., 2011). The use of MFCs has several parallel applications such as hydrogen generation (Cheng and Logan, 2007; Wagner et al., 2009), desalination (Cao et al., 2009), wastewater treatment (He et al., 2005, Wagner et al. 2009), and environmental sensor (Chang et al., 2005).
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