Biological Conversion of Amino Acids to Higher Alcohols

Marwa M. El-Dalatony, Shouvik Saha, Sanjay P. Govindwar, Reda A.I. Abou-Shanab, Byong Hun Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


‘Higher’ alcohols, which contain more than two carbons, have a higher boiling point, higher cetane number, and higher energy density than ethanol. Blends of biodiesel and higher alcohols can be used in internal combustion engines as next-generation biofuels without any modification and are minimally corrosive over extensive use. Producing higher alcohols from biomass involves fermenting and metabolizing amino acids. In this review, we describe the pathways and regulatory mechanisms involved in amino acid bioprocessing to produce higher alcohols and the effects of amino acid supplementation as a nitrogen source for higher alcohol production. We also discuss the most recent approaches to improve higher alcohol production via genetic engineering technologies for three microorganisms: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Clostridium spp., and Escherichia coli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-869
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • amino acids
  • bioprocessing
  • fermentation
  • genetic engineering
  • higher alcohols
  • microorganisms

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

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