Microbial Enzymes for Conversion of Biomass to Bioenergy

  • M. P. Raghavendra
  • S. Chandra NayakaEmail author
  • Vijai Kumar Gupta
Part of the Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies book series (BBT, volume 3)


Microbial enzymes are capable of degrading a wide range of complex substrates including carbohydrates into more useful energy source. The simple sugars then can be converted into ethanol or other liquid biofuels by a large group of fermentative microbes. Even though cellulose serves as an abundant source of carbon and energy in the ecosystem, its exploitation as a source of biofuel is hindered due to lack of effective microbial systems to break it down, including other carbohydrates to simple sugars leading to more production of biofuels. If these materials could be exploited, they would represent a massive new energy resource for biofuel production. In continuous search for alternative energy sources, it is now proven that electricity can be produced directly from the degradation of organic matter in a microbial fuel cell and fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol, which is an attractive route to fuels that supplements the fossil fuels. Studies have revealed that special group enzymes known as feruloyl esterases produced by microorganisms are capable of breaking apart key links between the polymers and helps in effective degradation of plant materials. This review covers various known microbial approaches to convert different carbon sources to simple soluble sugars en route to production of biofuels. The importance of the biofuel in future is highlighted by the Renewable Fuel Standard of the United States Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which mandates that 36 billion gallons of biofuels are to be produced annually by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are expected to come from cellulosic feed stocks. It is obvious fact that microorganisms and its array of enzymes need to be effectively screened, identified and employed in developing effective strategies for converting biomass to biofuel.


Lignocellulosic Biomass Glycoside Hydrolase Cellulolytic Enzyme Ankyrin Repeat Carbohydrate Binding Module 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Raghavendra
    • 1
  • S. Chandra Nayaka
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vijai Kumar Gupta
    • 3
  1. 1.Postgraduate Department of MicrobiologyMaharani’s Science College for WomenMysoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Studies in BiotechnologyUniversity of MysoreMysoreIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, School of Natural SciencesNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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