Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 445–452 | Cite as

Biotechnological production of d-glyceric acid and its application

  • Hiroshi HabeEmail author
  • Tokuma Fukuoka
  • Dai Kitamoto
  • Keiji Sakaki


Glycerol is currently produced in large amounts as a by-product during fat splitting and biodiesel fuel production. Over the past decade, both chemical and biotechnological processes to convert glycerol to value-added chemicals have been increasingly explored. This mini-review provides recent information about the biotechnological production of a glycerol derivative, d-glyceric acid (d-GA), and its possible applications. Little is known about GA as a bioproduct, but it is naturally found in different kinds of plants as a phytochemical constituent and is reported to have some biological activity. A racemic mixture of dl-GA can be obtained from glycerol via chemical oxidation; however, d-GA is mainly biotechnologically produced with the aid of bacteria. Under aerobic conditions, some acetic acid bacteria transform glycerol into d-GA, and optimization of initial glycerol concentration and aeration rate provided a yield of more than 80 g/l d-GA, using a strain of Gluconobacter frateurii.


Acetic acid bacteria Biorefinery Biodiesel fuel Glyceric acid Glycerol use 



The authors would like to thank the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan for financial support (the Industrial Technology Research Grant Program: 08A26202c).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Habe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tokuma Fukuoka
    • 1
  • Dai Kitamoto
    • 1
  • Keiji Sakaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Innovations in Sustainable ChemistryNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan

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