Editors: Judy D. Wall1, Caroline S. Harwood2, Arnold Demain3
Affiliations: 1: University of Missouri-Columbia; 2: University of Washington, Seattle; 3: Drew University, Madison, NJ
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Applied and Industrial Microbiology

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Given the limited supply of fossil fuels and the devastating effects of ever-increasing greenhouse gases, researchers have been committed to finding alternative fuel sources. Perhaps one of the least explored areas is bioenergy from microbes. In this landmark volume, world-renowned experts explore the possible contributions of microbes to the next generation of fuels.

In 31 detailed chapters, provides thorough explanations of the current knowledge and future areas for research on microbial energy conversions. The volume begins with 10 chapters on ethanol production from cellulosic feedstocks, which is more sustainable than ethanol production from corn. These chapters are followed by explanations of the status of energy sources that are in various stages of development, including methane, methanol, hydrogen, electricity, and butanol. Also examined are possible areas for new research that may contribute to future breakthroughs on alternative fuels. Each chapter is written by experts currently engaged in the research, who not only present the current status but also lay the foundations for future research and development.

The variety of microbial activities that have the potential to contribute to biofuel production is vast. Not surprisingly, biomass derived from photosynthesis is one obvious fuel source, and microbial conversions of biomass have great promise. The current status of each approach and the factors limiting its development are provided. This volume should inspire scientists, developers, and visionaries to see the potential of significant contributions from microbial biofuel production.

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