Recent Progress and Trends in the Development of Microbial Biofuels from Solid Waste—A Review

Ulugbek Azimov*, Victor Okoro, Hector H. Hernandez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


This review covers the recent progress in the design and application of microbial biofuels, assessing the advancement of genetic engineering undertakings and their marketability, and lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment issues. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a promising sustainable biofuel feedstock due to its high content of lignocellulosic fiber. In this review, we compared the production of fatty alcohols, alkanes, and n-butanol from residual biogenic waste and the environmental/economic parameters to that of conventional biofuels. New synthetic biology tools can be used to engineer fermentation pathways within micro-organisms to produce long-chain alcohols, isoprenoids, long-chain fatty acids, and esters, along with alkanes, as substitutes to petroleum-derived fuels. Biotechnological advances have struggled to address problems with bioethanol, such as lower energy density compared to gasoline and high corrosive and hygroscopic qualities that restrict its application in present infrastructure. Biofuels derived from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) may have less environmental impacts compared to traditional fuel production, with the added benefit of lower production costs. Unfortunately, current advanced biofuel production suffers low production rates, which hinders commercial scaling-up efforts. Microbial-produced biofuels can address low productivity while increasing the spectrum of produced bioenergy molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6011
Number of pages24
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


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