The group of Guang ZHAO at QIBEBT has engineered Klebsiella to form optically pure D-lactic acid from glycerol in yields of 150 g/l (substrate conversion rate 0.91g/g, production efficiency greater than 3g/l/h), after metabolic blocks inhibiting the synthesis of by-products such as 1,3-propanediol and 2,3-butanediol. Polymers derived from D-lactic acid are used in high-end fields such as medical bone engineering, cigarette filter heads, high-grade textile fibers, and as the main raw material for 3D printing technology. It is estimated that the global polylactic acid market will have a compound annual growth rate of 20 %.

China Bio news release, March 23, 2018