Biocatalysts for biomethanol production: Advancements and future prospects

Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, Prakash Kumar Sarangi, Uttam Kumar Sahoo, Tarun Kumar Thakur, Harikesh B. Singh, Sanjukta Subudhi

Article ID: 2646
Vol 7, Issue 1, 2024

VIEWS - 568 (Abstract) 303 (PDF)


Biomethanol, a renewable and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil-fuel-derived methanol, has garnered considerable attention as a potential solution to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on non-renewable resources. The utilization of biocatalysts in biomethanol production offers a promising avenue to achieve environmentally friendly and economically viable processes. Paper highlights the biocatalytic pathways involved in biomethanol synthesis. Particular emphasis is placed on microbial biocatalysts, such as methanogenic archaea and certain bacteria, which possess the unique capability of converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methanol through a series of enzymatic reactions. Additionally, enzyme-based systems derived from various microorganisms and genetically engineered organisms are also discussed as potential biocatalysts for biomethanol synthesis. Paper also delves into the current challenges and limitations faced in harnessing biocatalysts for biomethanol production. These challenges include substrate availability, low conversion rates, enzyme stability, and process scalability. Several strategies to address these issues are highlighted, including metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and bioprocess optimization techniques. The advantages of utilizing biocatalysts for biomethanol production are outlined. Biocatalytic routes offer the advantage of operating under mild conditions, which reduces energy consumption and minimizes the production of unwanted by-products. Furthermore, the utilization of renewable feedstocks, such as carbon dioxide captured from industrial emissions or waste streams, enhances the sustainability of the process. The final section discusses future prospects and potential research directions in the field of biocatalytic biomethanol production. Advances in biotechnology, omics technologies, and computational modeling are poised to accelerate the discovery and optimization of novel biocatalysts, thereby unlocking the full potential of biomethanol as a sustainable fuel and chemical precursor. The use of biocatalysts for biomethanol production offers an attractive approach to establish a green and circular economy. With ongoing research and technological advancements, the field holds significant promise for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning towards a more sustainable energy landscape. However, to fully realize the potential of biocatalytic biomethanol production, interdisciplinary collaboration and concerted efforts are required to address existing challenges.


biomethanol; biological conversion; methanotrophs; methane; renewable energy; biocatalysts

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