Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 831–842 | Cite as

Fermentation of glycerol and production of valuable chemical and biofuel molecules

  • Anu Jose Mattam
  • James M. Clomburg
  • Ramon GonzalezEmail author
  • Syed Shams Yazdani


Glycerol has attracted the attention of scientific and industrial communities due to its generation in bulk quantities as a byproduct of biofuel industries. With the rapid growth of these industries in recent years, glycerol is frequently treated as a very low-value byproduct or even a waste product with a disposal cost associated to it. Glycerol is not only abundant and inexpensive but also can generate more reducing equivalents than glucose or xylose. This unique characteristic of glycerol offers a tremendous opportunity for its biological conversion to valuable products at higher yield. This review focuses on research efforts to utilize glycerol as a carbon source for the production of a variety of fuels and chemicals by both native and metabolically engineered microorganisms.


Glycerol fermentation Biofuels Chemicals 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anu Jose Mattam
    • 1
  • James M. Clomburg
    • 2
  • Ramon Gonzalez
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Syed Shams Yazdani
    • 1
  1. 1.Synthetic Biology and Biofuel GroupInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BioengineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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