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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Metabolic Engineering of Cupriavidus necator H16 for Sustainable Biofuels from CO2.


Decelerating global warming is one of the predominant challenges of our time and will require conversion of CO2 to usable products and commodity chemicals. Of particular interest is the production of fuels, because the transportation sector is a major source of CO2 emissions. Here, we review recent technological advances in metabolic engineering of the hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium Cupriavidus necator H16, a chemolithotroph that naturally consumes CO2 to generate biomass. We discuss recent successes in biofuel production using this organism, and the implementation of electrolysis/artificial photosynthesis approaches that enable growth of C. necator using renewable electricity and CO2. Last, we discuss prospects of improving the nonoptimal growth of C. necator in ambient concentrations of CO2.

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