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This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Perspectives for Using CO2 as a Feedstock for Biomanufacturing of Fuels and Chemicals

Microbial cell factories offer an eco-friendly alternative for transforming raw materials into commercially valuable products because of their reduced carbon impact compared to conventional industrial procedures. These systems often depend on lignocellulosic feedstocks, mainly pentose and hexose sugars. One major hurdle when utilizing these sugars, especially glucose, is balancing carbon allocation to satisfy energy, cofactor, and other essential component needs for cellular proliferation while maintaining a robust yield. Nearly half or more of this carbon is inevitably lost as CO2 during the biosynthesis of regular metabolic necessities. This loss lowers the production yield and compromises the benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions—a fundamental advantage of biomanufacturing. This review paper posits the perspectives of using CO2 from the atmosphere, industrial wastes, or the exhausted gases generated in microbial fermentation as a feedstock for biomanufacturing. Achieving the carbon-neutral or -negative goals is addressed under two main strategies. The one-step strategy uses novel metabolic pathway design and engineering approaches to directly fix the CO2 toward the synthesis of the desired products. Due to the limitation of the yield and efficiency in one-step fixation, the two-step strategy aims to integrate firstly the electrochemical conversion of the exhausted CO2 into C1/C2 products such as formate, methanol, acetate, and ethanol, and a second fermentation process to utilize the CO2-derived C1/C2 chemicals or co-utilize C5/C6 sugars and C1/C2 chemicals for product formation. The potential and challenges of using CO2 as a feedstock for future biomanufacturing of fuels and chemicals are also discussed.

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National Science Foundation
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