Current state and perspectives of producing biodiesel-like compounds by biotechnology.
Bottom Line: Biotechnological production can be achieved by purified enzymes in the soluble state, which requires cost-intensive protein preparation.Processes in presence of organic solvents like t-butanol have been developed, which enhance by-product solubility and therefore prevent loss of enzyme activity.As another approach the application of whole-cell catalysis for the production of fatty acid ethyl esters, which is also referred to as 'microdiesel', by recombinant microorganisms has recently been suggested.
Affiliation: Institut für Molekulare Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstrasse 3, D-48149 Münster, Germany.Show MeSH
Mentions: Biodiesel is mostly if not almost exclusively obtained chemically by alkali‐ or acid‐catalysed transesterification of plant oils and waste fat with ethanol or methanol as the most frequently used acyl acceptors or by esterification of fatty acids (Fig. 1). The used feedstock oils and alcohols as well as the resulting products are biodegradable, non‐toxic, nearly free of sulfur, contain no aromatic compounds and provide a high energy to mass ratio. Additionally, biodiesel is not corrosive and can in principle substitute common diesel without major modifications of the combustion engine, whereas engines operated with the more corrosive ethanol as fuel require several modifications regarding for example fuel lines and sealings.
Affiliation: Institut für Molekulare Mikrobiologie und Biotechnologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstrasse 3, D-48149 Münster, Germany.