About this Research Topic
Sustainable utilization of waste and biomass streams for producing biofuels and bio-based materials has been one of the core research topics for decades. Microorganisms consisting of a broad spectrum of natural and engineered strains play a central role in biocatalysis. Additionally, process engineering and optimization, as well as the establishment of straightforward technological configurations to obtain high throughput biocatalysis approach, are equally important. Over the last 20 years, researchers worldwide have devoted their efforts to address the challenges and limitations of biocatalysis. Although the achievements could be considered mention-worthy, many general and product-specific challenges still remained unaddressed. With the advancement of rational, evolutionary, and microenvironment engineering of proteins, researchers are now attempting to develop high-performance cell-free and whole-cell biocatalysts and investigate them in the multidimensional workflow to achieve viable biocatalysis techniques.
Despite the obvious progress in developing robust biocatalysts and technological configurations for converting wastes and biomass, many limitations are yet to be overcome. For example, low efficiency of the biocatalysts, low tolerance of cells to stressors, accumulation of toxic intermediates, instability of enzymes, and techno-economic feasibility of the bioprocess. To overcome these limitations, multidisciplinary and multidimensional efforts are on the spot using various techniques and technologies, such as combined omics and rational engineering for developing high-tolerant strains, rational design of enzymes for the improved activity, directed evolution for the enhanced activity and stability of enzymes, and microenvironment engineering of enzymes for the improved activity and stability, using the emerging tools of system and synthetic biology, nanobiotechnology, and protein engineering.
This Research Topic is intended to cover the design and utilization of novel biocatalysts for biochemical conversion of biomass and wastes into biofuels and biobased materials. We welcome full-length articles, short or comprehensive review papers, and communications. Topics of interest for this issue collection include, but are not limited to:
• Production of biofuels (e.g., bioethanol, biobutanol, biogas, biohydrogen, and biodiesel).
• Microbial biosynthesis of biobased materials (e.g., bulk-chemicals or platform chemicals, biopolymers, and natural products).
• Design and use of the cell-free enzymatic system for biofuels and biobased materials.
• Design and use of whole-cell biocatalysts for biofuels and biobased materials.
• In vitro biocatalysis for biofuels and biobased materials.
• In vivo biocatalysis for biofuels and biobased materials.
• Optimization of biocatalysis and bioprocess technologies.
Keywords: Biocatalysis, Biosystem engineering, Synthetic biology, Bioprocess engineering, Metabolic engineering, Bioenergy, Bioproducts, Bioprocess optimization
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