Trends in valorization of highly-toxic lignocellulosic biomass derived-compounds via engineered microbes

Lahiru N. Jayakody, Baroi Chinmoy, Timothy L. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Lignocellulosic biomass-derived fuels, chemicals, and materials are promising sustainable solutions to replace the current petroleum-based production. The direct microbial conversion of thermos-chemically pretreated lignocellulosic biomass is hampered by the presence of highly toxic chemical compounds. Also, thermo-catalytic upgrading of lignocellulosic biomass generates wastewater that contains heterogeneous toxic chemicals, a mixture of unutilized carbon. Metabolic engineering efforts have primarily focused on the conversion of carbohydrates in lignocellulose biomass; substantial opportunities exist to harness value from toxic lignocellulose-derived toxic compounds. This article presents the comprehensive metabolic routes and tolerance mechanisms to develop robust synthetic microbial cell factories to valorize the highly toxic compounds to advanced-platform chemicals. The obtained platform chemicals can be used to manufacture high-value biopolymers and biomaterials via a hybrid biochemical approach for replacing petroleum-based incumbents. The proposed strategy enables a sustainable bio-based materials economy by microbial biofunneling of lignocellulosic biomass-derived toxic molecules, an untapped biogenic carbon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126614
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Biofunneling
  • Chemo-biological valorization
  • Platform chemicals
  • Tolerance engineering
  • Toxicant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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