Myconanotechnology: Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development

Role of Fungi in Biofuel Production Chain

Author(s): Renuka Agrawal* and Ankur Maheshwari

Pp: 352-371 (20)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815051360122030018

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The demand of fuels as a source of energy for various operations is increasing daily. This has led to increased demand of fossil fuels, particularly by transportation and industrial sectors. There are multiple problems related to conventional fossil fuels like firstly, they are non-renewable resources with limited reserves. Secondly, fossil fuels pose serious environmental and health issues. Fossil fuels are one of the leading sources of emission of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG), resulting in global warming and thus climate change. These limitations and adverse effects of the use of fossil fuels have warranted scientists and policymakers to look for renewable and greener alternatives such as biofuels. Based on the type of feedstock used, biofuels are classified as first-generation, second-generation and thirdgeneration. First-generation biofuels are based on edible resources which are already scanty. This has led to increased interest in second and third-generation biofuels. The agricultural waste and inedible crops constituting lignocellulosic materials are important second-generation biofuel feedstocks. The second-generation feedstocks can be a great alternative to conventional fossil fuels, but there are a few limitations, such as the cost and efficiency of production. Currently, scientists are looking at the role of fungi and utilization of various fungal enzymes in the hydrolysis of the lignocellulosic substrates for efficient and cost-effective production of biofuels. Nanomaterials have the ability for the better utilization of enzymes, biofuels, biodiesels and other microbial fuels. Therefore, nanotechnology can be utilized to address the challenges through various mechanisms and processes. This chapter is an attempt to focus on the role of fungi and fungal enzymes for better utilization of feedstock and sustainable production of renewable, cost-effective, environment-friendly biofuels. 

Keywords: Biofuels, Fossil fuels, Fungi, Fungal enzymes, Lignocellulosic materials.

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