Engineering cyanobacteria for direct biofuel production from CO2
•We review the recent progress in the production of solar biofuels.•Articles demonstrating proof of concept and optimisation studies are reviewed.•At this time, high-value-added compounds show greater promise than fuels.
For a sustainable future of our society it is essential to close the global carbon cycle. Oxidised forms of carbon, in particular CO2, can be used to synthesise energy-rich organic molecules. Engineered cyanobacteria have attracted attention as catalysts for the direct conversion of CO2 into reduced fuel compounds.Proof of principle for this approach has been provided for a vast range of commodity chemicals, mostly energy carriers, such as short chain and medium chain alcohols. More recently, research has focused on the photosynthetic production of compounds with higher added value, most notably terpenoids. Below we review the recent developments that have improved the state-of-the-art of this approach and speculate on future developments.
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Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 33, June 2015, Pages 8–14