Synthetic biology based metabolic engineering approach for advanced biofuels

An increasing demand for fossil fuel and a simultaneous need to curb down the CO2 emissions from fuels has urged to devise advanced biofuel development. Metabolically microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and algae) are being engineered to solve both the above problems. These strains have been developed to produce long chain lipids and isoprenoids which have properties similar to petroleum and hence, with certain modification can definitely be utilized for fuel consumption. In addition, isoprenoid compounds are found to serve as precursor molecules in many other industries such as perfume and medicine, which earlier utilized several byproducts from petroleum industries. Hence metabolically engineered strains can now be used to produce these compounds in a renewable manner. In this paper, we review the various metabolic pathways that have been biosynthetically engineered in microbes and discuss the industrial level production and applications of these advanced lipid based biofuels.