Upgrading the value of anaerobic fermentation via renewable chemicals production: A sustainable integration for circular bioeconomy

A. Naresh Kumar, Omprakash Sarkar, K. Chandrasekhar, Tirath Raj, Vivek Narisetty, S. Venkata Mohan, Ashok Pandey, Sunita Varjani, Sunil Kumar, Pooja Sharma, Byong Hun Jeon, Min Jang, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The single bioprocess approach has certain limitations in terms of process efficiency, product synthesis, and effective resource utilization. Integrated or combined bioprocessing maximizes resource recovery and creates a novel platform to establish sustainable biorefineries. Anaerobic fermentation (AF) is a well-established process for the transformation of organic waste into biogas; conversely, biogas CO2 separation is a challenging and expensive process. Biological fixation of CO2 for succinic acid (SA) mitigates CO2 separation issues and produces commercially important renewable chemicals. Additionally, utilizing digestate rich in volatile fatty acid (VFA) to produce medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) creates a novel integrated platform by utilizing residual organic metabolites. The present review encapsulates the advantages and limitations of AF along with biogas CO2 fixation for SA and digestate rich in VFA utilization for MCFA in a closed-loop approach. Biomethane and biohydrogen processes CO2 utilization for SA production is cohesively deliberated along with the role of biohydrogen as an alternative reducing agent to augment SA yields. Similarly, MCFA production using VFA as a substrate and functional role of electron donors namely ethanol, lactate, and hydrogen are comprehensively discussed. A road map to establish the fermentative biorefinery approach in the framework of AF integrated sustainable bioprocess development is deliberated along with limitations and factors influencing for techno-economic analysis. The discussed integrated approach significantly contributes to promote the circular bioeconomy by establishing carbon-neutral processes in accord with sustainable development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150312
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government ( Ministry of Science and ICT ) (No. NRF-2019H1D3A1A01102655 and 2020R1A2B5B02001757 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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