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Biomass, Biofuels, Biochemicals
2022, 203-230

Microbial transformation of methane to biofuels and biomaterials

Bhawna Tyagia, Shivali Sahotab, Indu Shekhar Thakurc, Pooja Ghoshb

School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

Increasing environmental concentrations of methane have a huge impact on the Earth's climate, owing to its high global warming potential. Thus, its biological conversion by methane oxidizing bacteria, i.e., methanotrophs offer an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient solution to combat climate change. Advances in the omics-based study of methanotrophs inhabiting different environments have greatly improved our understanding of their diversity and metabolic potential. This chapter provides a detailed insight into the emerging technologies for biological conversion of methane by methanotrophs, their immense potential of methane utilization to mitigate climate change along with the production of high-value bioproducts and biomaterials such as biofuels, biodiesel, biopolymers, single-cell protein, ectoine, surface layers, organic acids, etc. Further, challenges and opportunities associated with technology upgradation, genetic engineering, and the application of synthetic biology for methane bioconversion processes and biorefineries are discussed.

Keywords: Climate change, Methane mitigation, Methanotrophs, Bioreactor, Value-added products.

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