Accumulation of recalcitrant plastics in the environment has become a world-wide problem in today’s societies. Rapid depletion of natural resources for synthetic plastics along with environmental concerns has directed research towards finding alternatives to petroleum-based polymers. Poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid) P(3HB), as one of these alternatives, have attracted much attention in recent years due to their varied mechanical properties, biocompatibility and iodegradability. The aim of this study was to identify an agro-industrial waste resource economically suitable for
large-scale production of P(3HB), to optimize the production using Response Surface Methodology in small-scale and subsequently, to test the production in a continuously stirred tank reactor. Among a range of agro-industrial waste, orange peel was selected as the most suitable for P(3HB)
production. P(3HB) concentration of 1.24 g P(3HB)/L culture broth with 41% P(3HB)/dcw yield was obtained using orange peel as the sole carbon source in optimized medium with a modified strain of Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis OK2).