Reducing Pollution through Biofuels
Human beings have been have found themselves struggling to eliminate bacteria and wipe down the microbes associated with infecting and causing diseases and subsequent death. Many microbes are helpful and can be used to fight global warming and cleaning up pollutions caused by different pollutants hence environmental friendly (Hallenbeck 2012). Fossil fuels like coal and oil plays major role in people current history, by being the major source of energy resulted into great impacts in society’s growth and industrialization. These fuels have been the main source of energy to developed countries. As a result, their high rate of consumption and different usages has caused emission of gases that causes pollution to the environment Fossil fuel contributes highly to the global warming; a vise that all scientists are working to control (Baltz, Demain, & Davies 2010). These reasons have contributed to development of great incentives towards invention of alternative sources of energy that are renewable mainly microbial biofuels.
Microbial metabolisms varies in an incredible manner and can use and produce a great range of molecules. Although no currently existing biofuel in utilization that can solve all environmental pollution issues of fossil fuels, biofuel-producing microbes has been a target field of study as an alternative source of energy (Lee 2007). Among the main motives behind the engineering microbes to produce fuels is to eliminate poisonous effects resulting from byproducts of fossil fuels and in its place advocate for more environmental friendly biofuels. This will help in reduction of world’s use a more carbon-neutral lowering the level of pollution (Da Silva, Mack, & Contiero, 2009).
Microbial Biofuels of Producing Ethanol through Fermentation
Fermenting of sugar by yeast can be used to produce ethanol as one product of microbial biofuel. Yeast species are mainly used in industries by using starch and sugars produced by plants as major ingredients in production process. Industrial process to produce biofuels involves the generation Pyruvate molecules from oxidization of glucose molecules in aerobic conditions. This is to eliminate the presence of molecular oxygen which can be used by electron acceptor, as an alternative, the usage of pyruvate is required to act like the terminal electron acceptor. Process of fermentation here involves chemical reaction removing a carboxyl group from pyruvate to form carborn dioxide and acetaldehyde. Ethanol is generated from the subsequent reduction of acetaldehyde. Although fossil fuel could have used during transportation and farming of sugarcane and corn that are major ingredient of ethanol, the high biofuel produced gives them a positive net energy balance hence remain an effective source of energy (Von Blottnitz, & Curran 2007).
Fatty Acids and Glycerol
Biofuels could also alternatively be produced by use different substrates other than standard carbohydrates. This is due to the fact that, microbes are extremely diverse pertaining to their capability in using different substrates. Fatty acids can be used as an alternative to sugars which and has been highly recommendable because they are more reduced at a great extent than simple carbohydrate. Fatty acids have been proofed to contain high contents of carbon and energy contributing required in production of great quantity of biofuel. Every substrate in the fatty acids could be yielded as a product since it does not go through carboxylation process (Peralta‐Yahya, & Keasling, 2010).
Glycerol could in addition be used like valuable raw material since it is readily available as a byproduct in various industrial processes. Glycerol can easily be harvested from microbes of algae genus and they produce it in large quantities. Algae carry out photosynthesis and use solar energy converting carbon dioxide into sugar and breaking it down into lipids. Lipids produced from algae can be used in the production of biodiesel while carbohydrates are processed into bioethanol (Groom, Gray, & Townsend 2008)
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Da Silva, G. P., Mack, M., & Contiero, J. (2009). Glycerol: a promising and abundant carbon source for industrial microbiology. Biotechnology advances, 27(1), 30-39.
Groom, M. J., Gray, E. M., & Townsend, P. A. (2008). Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production. Conservation biology, 22(3), 602-609.
Hallenbeck, P. C. (2012). Microbial technologies in advanced biofuels production. New York: Springer.
Lee, Y. K. (2007). Microorganisms and production of alternative energy. Microbial Biotechnology, 2nd ed.. Edited by Lee YK. Singapore: World Scientific, 731-746.
Peralta‐Yahya, P. P., & Keasling, J. D. (2010). Advanced biofuel production in microbes. Biotechnology Journal, 5(2), 147-162.
Von Blottnitz, H., & Curran, M. A. (2007). A review of assessments conducted on bio-ethanol as a transportation fuel from a net energy, greenhouse gas, and environmental life cycle perspective. Journal of cleaner production, 15(7), 607-619.