Metabolic effects of furaldehydes and impacts on biotechnological processes

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There is a growing awareness that lignocellulose<br>will be a major raw material for production of both fuel and<br>chemicals in the coming decades—most likely through<br>various fermentation routes. Considerable attention has been<br>given to the problem of finding efficient means of separating<br>the major constituents in lignocellulose (i.e., lignin, hemicellulose,<br>and cellulose) and to efficiently hydrolyze the<br>carbohydrate parts into sugars. In these processes, byproducts<br>will inevitably form to some extent, and these will<br>have to be dealt with in the ensuing microbial processes. One<br>group of compounds in this category is the furaldehydes. 2-<br>Furaldehyde (furfural) and substituted 2-furaldehydes—most<br>importantly 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde—are the dominant<br>inhibitory compounds found in lignocellulosic hydrolyzates.<br>The furaldehydes are known to have biological<br>effects and act as inhibitors in fermentation processes. The<br>effects of these compounds will therefore have to be<br>considered in the design of biotechnological processes using<br>lignocellulose. In this short review, we take a look at known<br>metabolic effects, as well as strategies to overcome problems<br>in biotechnological applications caused by furaldehydes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-638
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2009


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