Methylorubrum extorquens AM1 is the attractive platform for the production of value-added products from methanol. We previously demonstrated that M. extorquens equipped with PHA synthase with broad substrate specificity synthesized polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) composed of (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate and small fraction of (R)-3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) and (R)-3-hydroxyhexanoate (3HHx) units on methanol. This study further engineered M. extorquens for biosynthesis of PHAs with higher 3HV and 3HHx composition focusing on the EMC pathway involved in C1 assimilation. The introduction of ethylmalonyl-CoA decarboxylase, catalyzing a backward reaction in the EMC pathway, aiming to increase intracellular propionyl/butyryl-CoA precursors did not affect PHA composition. Reverse b-oxidation pathway and subsequent (R)-specific hydration of 2-enoyl-CoA were then enhanced by heterologous expression of four genes derived from Ralstonia eutropha for the conversion of propionyl/butyryl-CoAs to the corresponding (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA monomers. The resulting strains produced PHAs with higher 3HV and 3HHx compositions, while the methylotrophic growth was severely impaired. This growth impairment was interestingly restored by the addition of La3+ without a negative impact on PHA biosynthesis, suggesting the activation of the EMC pathway by La3+. The engineered M. extorquens synthesized PHA terpolymer composed of 5.4 mol% 3HV and 0.9% of 3HHx with 41% content from methanol as a sole carbon source in the presence of La3+.
Constantly increasing hydrocarbon fuel combustion along with high levels of carbon dioxide emissions has given rise to a global energy crisis and environmental alterations. Photocatalysis is an effective technique for addressing this energy and environmental crisis. Clean and renewable solar energy is a very favourable path for photocatalytic CO2 reduction to value-added products to tackle problems of energy and the environment. The synthesis of various products such as CH4, CH3OH, CO, EtOH, etc., has been expanded through the photocatalytic reduction of CO2. Among these products, methanol is one of the most important and highly versatile chemicals widely used in industry and in day-to-day life. This review emphasizes the recent progress of photocatalytic CO2 hydrogenation to CH3OH. In particular, Metal organic frameworks (MOFs), mixed-metal oxide, carbon, TiO2 and plasmonic-based nanomaterials are discussed for the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to methanol. Finally, a summary and perspectives on this emerging field are provided.
Hemicellulose and its derivatives have a high potential to replace fossil-based materials in various high-value-added products. Within this study, two purification cascades for the separation and valorization of hemicellulose and its derived monomeric sugars from organosolv beechwood hydrolyzates (BWHs) were experimentally demonstrated and assessed. Purification cascade 1 included hydrothermal treatment for converting remaining hemicellulose oligomers to xylose and the purification of the xylose by nanofiltration. Purification cascade 2 included the removal of lignin by adsorption, followed by ultrafiltration for the separation and concentration of hemicellulose. Based on the findings of the experimental work, both cascades were simulated on an industrial scale using Aspen Plus®. In purification cascade 1, 63% of the oligomeric hemicellulose was hydrothermally converted to xylose and purified by nanofiltration to 7.8 t/h of a xylose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L. In purification cascade 2, 80% of the lignin was removed by adsorption, and 7.6 t/h of a purified hemicellulose solution with a concentration of 200 g/L was obtained using ultrafiltration. The energy efficiency of the cascades was 59% and 26%, respectively. Furthermore, the estimation of specific production costs showed that xylose can be recovered from BWH at the cost of 73.7 EUR/t and hemicellulose at 135.1 EUR/t.
Climate change (along with other factors) has caused an increase in the proliferation of brown algal mats floating freely along the Atlantic Ocean since 2011. These brown algae mats are composed of sea plants from the Sargassum genus. The gargantuan agglomeration of biomass flows alongside currents and lands in beaches belonging to the Eastern coasts of the Mexican Caribbean and several other countries in the region. These events, dubbed golden tides, harm the local economy and environment. Current elimination approaches involve the mechanical harvesting of the Sargassum and ultimate landfill disposal. However, explorations into the commercial application of other brown algae have elucidated the potential of Sargassum as a feedstock for valorization. This review informs the trends, challenges, and opportunities presented by the coastal invasion of this biomass. Primarily, the potential use of this material is as a precursor in biorefineries where multiple value-added products are generated concurrent with the ultimate production of biofuels.