The use of endophytic fungi for the conversion of agricultural wastes to hydrocarbons
A novel and very promising area in the search for renewable biofuels and green chemicals is the discovery of microorganisms that produce fuel-related hydrocarbons (Mycodiesel) and other useful products. This is in contrast to yeast fermentation that utilizes expensive sugars or starch to produce ethanol, which is a proven and useful source of fuel but which for many reasons it is not ideal. Recently, a number of endophytic fungi have been isolated and described that make compounds such as mono-terpenoids, alkanes, cyclohexanes, cyclopentanes, and alkyl alcohols/ketones, benzenes and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Many of these compounds are either identical to or are closely related to those specific classes of molecules that are found in diesel. Most importantly, these organisms make hydrocarbons while utilizing cellulosic and hemicellulosic polymers found in all plant-based agricultural wastes. Also discussed are the shortcomings, strategies and methods being used to further develop this technology.
Strobel, G.A. (2014) The use of endophytic fungi for the conversion of agricultural wastes to Hydrocarbons. Biofuels 5: 447-455. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17597269.2014.989135