To ensure the long-term viability of biorefineries, it is essential to go beyond the carbohydrate-based platform and develop complementing technologies capable of producing fuels and chemicals from a wide array of available materials.
Glycerol, a readily available and inexpensive compound, is generated during biodiesel, oleochemical, and bioethanol production processes, making its conversion into value-added products of great interest. The high degree of reduction of carbon atoms in glycerol confers the ability to produce fuels and reduced chemicals at higher yields when compared to the use of carbohydrates. This review focuses on current engineering efforts as well as the challenges involved in the utilization of glycerol as a carbon source for the production of fuels and chemicals.
Tags: glycerol fermentation, biofuels, chemicals
Source: Trends in Biotechnology, 2012-11-26.