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Biotransformation of dicarboxylic acids from vegetable oil–derived sources: current methods and suggestions for improvement

Lee, Heeseok, Sugiharto, Yohanes Eko Chandra, Lee, Hyeokwon, Jeon, Wooyoung, Ahn, Jungoh, Lee, Hongweon
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 1545-1555
alkanes, biotransformation, byproducts, dicarboxylic acids, fatty acid methyl esters, manufacturing, microorganisms, raw materials, renewable resources, vegetables
Sustainable manufacture of dicarboxylic acids (DCAs), which are used as raw materials for multiple commercial products, has been an area of considerable research interest in recent years. Traditional chemical-based manufacture of DCAs suffers from limitations such as harsh operational conditions and generation of hazardous by-products. Microbiological methods involving DCA production depend on the capability of alkane-assimilating microorganisms, particularly α, ω-oxidation, to metabolize alkanes. Alkanes are still used as the most common substrates for this method, but the use of renewable resources, such as vegetable oil–derived fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), offers multiple advantages for the sustainable production of DCA. However, DCA production using FAME, unlike that using alkanes, still has low productivity and process stability, and we have attempted to identify several limiting factors that weaken the competitiveness. This review discusses the current status and suggests solutions to various obstacles to improve the biotransformation process of FAMEs.