Fermentative production of chemicals that can be used for polymer synthesis

Sang Y. Lee, Soon H. Hong, Seung H. Lee, Si J. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The fermentative production of chemicals that can be used as monomers for the synthesis of polymers has become an important topic in biotechnology research because of the limited nature of petroleum and environmental issues. In particular, the fermentative production of metabolites such as dicarboxylic acids, amino acids, and diols, which are suitable as building blocks for subsequent polymerization, has attracted much attention. Various wild-type and metabolically engineered microorganisms have been developed for the efficient production of these chemicals from renewable resources. In addition, the development of fermentation strategies to achieve the highest possible productivities has been another focus of research, considering that these monomers should be produced at costs low enough to compete with petroleum-derived ones. In this paper, the metabolic pathways leading to the synthesis of such important monomers including succinic acid, lactic acid, fumaric acid, propan-1,2-diol, and propan-1,3-diol are reviewed. In addition, the metabolic engineering and fermentation strategies for their production are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2004


  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Fermentation
  • Fumaric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Propan-1,2-diol
  • Propan-1,3-diol
  • Succinic acid


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