Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of ethanol and butanol from oxides of carbon

  • Ji Eun Woo
  • Yu-Sin JangEmail author


The utilized biomass is an important consideration for sustainable biofuel production. To avoid competing with food needs, researchers have turned their attention to non-food lignocellulosic biomasses as potential feedstocks for biofuel production. However, the saccharification of a lignocellulosic biomass produces a large amount of lignin as waste. To overcome this hurdle, biomass gasification has been suggested as an alternative to saccharification. During biomass gasification, oxides of carbon (CO, CO2) and hydrogen are produced as a major product. Accordingly, microorganisms capable of utilizing these oxides of carbon have gained attention as hosts for the production of biofuels, such as ethanol and butanol. In this work, we reviewed the Calvin cycle and Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for utilizing oxides of carbon in cyanobacteria and acetogens, respectively, and discussed the metabolic engineering strategies that may be used to produce ethanol and butanol from oxides of carbon through these routes.


Oxides of carbon Ethanol Butanol Calvin cycle Wood-Ljungdahl pathway 


Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2016R1D1A3B04933184).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Science Technology, Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science (IALS)Gyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea

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