Biological Conversion of Amino Acids to Higher Alcohols

Marwa M. El-Dalatony, Shouvik Saha, Sanjay P. Govindwar, Reda A.I. Abou-Shanab, Byong Hun Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


‘Higher’ alcohols, which contain more than two carbons, have a higher boiling point, higher cetane number, and higher energy density than ethanol. Blends of biodiesel and higher alcohols can be used in internal combustion engines as next-generation biofuels without any modification and are minimally corrosive over extensive use. Producing higher alcohols from biomass involves fermenting and metabolizing amino acids. In this review, we describe the pathways and regulatory mechanisms involved in amino acid bioprocessing to produce higher alcohols and the effects of amino acid supplementation as a nitrogen source for higher alcohol production. We also discuss the most recent approaches to improve higher alcohol production via genetic engineering technologies for three microorganisms: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Clostridium spp., and Escherichia coli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-869
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Mid-Career Researcher Program (No. 2017R1A2B2004143 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) (No. 20163010092250 ). This work was also supported by the research fund of Hanyang University (No. 201800000000288 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • amino acids
  • bioprocessing
  • fermentation
  • genetic engineering
  • higher alcohols
  • microorganisms


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