Editorial: Cell Free Biocatalysis for the Production of Bioproducts

Yannick Bomble, Michael Jewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biological approaches show promise for the sustainable and cost competitive production of commodity fuels and chemicals. A lot of efforts have been devoted to engineering microbial chassis to produce select fuels and chemicals. These approaches have had some level of success exemplified, of course, by the production of ethanol at high yield and titer but also recent successes with commodity chemicals such as 1,4-butanediol, 1,3-propanediol, and even to some extent with sustainable aviation fuel intermediates such as farnesene. However, many of these processes still suffer from low yields, usually below the standard needed to drive a sustainable and atom efficient bioeconomy. Additionally, for many other chemicals and fuel precursors, titers and yields are only a fraction of what they are for ethanol. Indeed, there exist many limiting factors associated with the use of microbial biocatalysts. Some of these factors include the diversion of carbon from products to sustain growth and biomass formation, the production of byproducts or regulatory mechanisms, the toxicity of end products or intermediates, and the difficulty of separating products from growth media.
Original languageAmerican English
Article number781552
Number of pages2
JournalFrontiers in Energy Research
StatePublished - 29 Oct 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-81614


  • biochemicals
  • biofuels
  • biomimetic cofactors
  • cell free systems
  • enzyme engineering
  • metabolic pathways
  • pathway prototyping


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