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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011 Jun;22(3):331-6. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 May 11.

Fermentative production of butanol--the academic perspective.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Universität Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


As mobility is a major pillar of World's economic system and burning fuels from fossil resources leads to a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the production and use of appropriate biofuels offer at least a partial solution to this problem. Butanol represents a biofuel extender or replacement with properties clearly superior to ethanol (higher mileage, not hygroscopic, usable without engine modifications, not corrosive). In addition, it is a valuable feedstock for the chemical industry. Scientific challenges for an economically competitive fermentation process include employment of cheap carbon sources, not competing with nutrition, a detailed understanding of the metabolic reactions of the biological process, development of appropriately engineered construction strains, and adaption of process technology to modern standards.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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