Synthetic Biology for Biomass Conversion

Christopher E. French, Damian K. Barnard, Eugene Fletcher, Steven D. Kane, Sahreena Saleem Lakhundi, Chao Kuo Liu, Alistair Elfick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Cellulosic biomass represents a hugely abundant and renewable source of sugars which could potentially be used as a feedstock for fermentation processes to generate a variety of biofuels and chemical feedstocks. Many microorganisms can effectively degrade cellulosic biomass, using a battery of enzymes, but do not produce useful products. Attempts to engineer biomass-degrading ability into industrially useful hosts have met with only limited success to date. Synthetic biology is a new discipline at the interface of engineering and biology, which aims to enable rational re-engineering of biological systems. In this chapter we will discuss the progress of attempts to apply synthetic biology methods to the generation of recombinant systems which can convert biomass to useful products on an industrial scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew and Future Developments in Catalysis : Catalytic Biomass Conversion
EditorsSteven L. Suib
Number of pages26
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)9780444538826
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
SeriesNew and Future Developments in Catalysis: Catalytic Biomass Conversion


  • Biomass
  • Renewable
  • Cellulose
  • Enzymes
  • Cellulase
  • Recombinant
  • Synthetic biology
  • Biofuels

Cite this

French, C. E., Barnard, D. K., Fletcher, E., Kane, S. D., Lakhundi, S. S., Liu, C. K., & Elfick, A. (2013). Synthetic Biology for Biomass Conversion. In S. L. Suib (Ed.), New and Future Developments in Catalysis: Catalytic Biomass Conversion (pp. 115-140). Elsevier. New and Future Developments in Catalysis: Catalytic Biomass Conversion