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Biotechnol Adv. 2009 Jan-Feb;27(1):30-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2008.07.006. Epub 2008 Aug 16.

Glycerol: a promising and abundant carbon source for industrial microbiology.

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1
Department of Education, Bahia State University-Uneb, BR 407, Km 127, Senhor do Bonfim, BA, 48970-000, Brazil. gpsilva@uneb.br

Abstract

Petroleum is the main energy source utilized in the world, but its availability is limited and the search for new renewable energy sources is of major interest. Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are among the most promising sources for the substitution of fossil fuels. Biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel, as it is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils, which generate about 10% (w/w) glycerol as the main by-product. The excess glycerol generated may become an environmental problem, since it cannot be disposed of in the environment. One of the possible applications is its use as carbon and energy source for microbial growth in industrial microbiology. Glycerol bioconversion in valuable chemicals, such as 1,3-propanediol, dihydroxyacetone, ethanol, succinate etc. is discussed in this review article.

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