Modern world started utilizing plastics because of its cost and properties suitable for the usage in various areas. The plastics are obtained either from fossil fuels or from natural resources. The utilization of fossil fuels has increased tremendously in many forms driving the depletion of them as the fuels are non-renewable. The degradation of fuel derived plastics is also happening at very low pace endangering the environment. The need of plastics which can overcome the environment problems is driving the search for bio based polymers which are biodegradable.

Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a biopolymer that can be used as a biodegradable thermoplastic material. PHB is produced by micro-organisms as a form of energy storage during stress. The genes involved in the pathway can be isolated and utilized for the large scale production of PHB in other micro-organisms or plants. The search towards PHB based plastic materials production with the cost and properties competitive to the petrochemical based plastic is focused in many industrial and research organizations.

Dolcera report focuses on finding the relevant patents encompassing the research in the bio based production of Polyhydroxybutyrate. Dolcera has a standardized and tested procedure to formulate comprehensive patent search strategies to retrieve all the relevant patents. The report highlights year-wise patent activity (trend line) along with the key industrial players in the field. The different Companies have been categorized based on their position in the value chain. A comprehensible result in the form of Dolcera dashboard has been given. Dashboard links the Companies in each category to their patents, hence making an interactive platform for analysis. Companies have also been segregated based on their geographical distribution. . Dolcera has retrieved close to 250 relevant patents related to PHB production, covering around 17 countries. Furthermore, patents have been mapped to commercially available products produced by the respective assignees and other licensees. The report also highlights different Universities and Research Institutes active in the research of the said technology area, hence pointing out opportunities for Industry tie ups.


Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a biopolymer that can be used as a biodegradable thermoplastic material for waste management strategies and biocompatibility in the medical devices. PHB is produced by microorganisms (like Ralstonia eutrophus or Bacillus megaterium) apparently in response to conditions of physiological stress. The polymer is primarily a product of carbon assimilation and is employed by micro-organisms as a form of energy storage molecule to be metabolized when other common energy sources are not available. The polymer has evolved in nature to form ion channels in the cell walls and to act as monorail in the ribosomes for aligning mRNA in protein synthesis. Later in evolution it also was optimized by some bacteria to become a storage material. The viability of microbial large scale production of PHB is dependent on the development of a low cost process that produces biodegradable plastics with properties similar or superior to petrochemical.

Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction
2.1. PHB Production
2.2. Production of monomer (R)-3-Hydroxybutyrl CoA
2.3. Production of monomer (R)-3-((R)-3-Hydroxy butyryloxy)butanoate

3. Taxonomy

4. Relavant Patents

5. Products
5.1. Tie-ups
6. Assignee Analysis and IP Activity
6.1. Top Assignees
6.2. Geographical Distribution
6.2.1. Geographical Distribution of Assignees
6.2.2. Geographical Distribution of Patents
6.2.3. Geographical Distribution of Family Members
6.3. IP activity
6.3.1. IP activity based on Publication year
6.3.2. IP activity based on Priority year

7. Source for PHB Production
7.1. Microbes used for PHB production
7.2. Plants used for PHB production

8. Conclusion

9. Appendix A: Search Strategy

10. Appendix B : Sample Analysis

Companies Mentioned
Metabolix, Kaneka Corp, PandG, Procter and Gamble, Monsanto, Advantest, UFZ, DuPont, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Asahi Kasei, Honda Motor Co, BASF, Canon

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