Prospects for microbial biodiesel production
Journal article, 2011

As the demand for biofuels for transportation is increasing, it is necessary to develop technologies that will allow for low-cost production of biodiesel. Conventional biodiesel is mainly produced from vegetable oil by chemical transesterification. This production, however, has relatively low land-yield and is competing for agricultural land that can be used for food production. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in developing microbial fermentation processes for production of biodiesel as this will allow for the use of a wide range of raw-materials, including sugar cane, corn, and biomass. Production of biodiesel by microbial fermentation can be divided into two different approaches, (1) indirect biodiesel production from oleaginous microbes by in vitro transesterification, and (2) direct biodiesel production from redesigned cell factories. This work reviews both microbial approaches for renewable biodiesel production and evaluates the existing challenges in these two strategies.



Fatty acids

storage lipids

Metabolic engineering

opacus strain pd630

Systems biology

engineering microbes

gamma-linolenic acid

Microbial biodiesel



oleaginous microorganisms

fuel properties

systems biology

single-cell oil


Shuobo Shi

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Life Sciences

Juan Octavio Valle Rodriguez

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Life Sciences

Verena Siewers

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Life Sciences

Jens B Nielsen

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Life Sciences

Biotechnology journal

1860-6768 (ISSN) 1860-7314 (eISSN)

Vol. 6 3 277-285

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Industrial Biotechnology

Areas of Advance


Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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