Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of higher alcohols

Yong Jun Choi, Joungmin Lee, Yu Sin Jang, Sang Yup Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Due to the increasing concerns about limited fossil resources and environmental problems, there has been much interest in developing biofuels from renewable biomass. Ethanol is currently used as a major biofuel, as it can be easily produced by existing fermentation technology, but it is not the best biofuel due to its low energy density, high vapor pressure, hygroscopy, and incompatibility with current infrastructure. Higher alcohols, including 1-propanol, 1-butanol, isobutanol, 2-methyl-1- butanol, and 3-methyl-1-butanol, which possess fuel properties more similar to those of petroleum-based fuel, have attracted particular interest as alternatives to ethanol. Since microorganisms isolated from nature do not allow production of these alcohols at high enough efficiencies, metabolic engineering has been employed to enhance their production. Here, we review recent advances in metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of higher alcohols.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01524-14
JournalmBio
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2014

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