The abundance of methane in shale gas and of other gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide as chemical process byproducts has motivated the use of gas fermentation for bioproduction. Recent advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology allow for engineering of microbes metabolizing a variety of chemicals including gaseous feeds into a number of biorenewables and transportation liquid fuels. New computational tools enable the systematic exploration of all feasible conversion alternatives. Here we computationally assessed all thermodynamically feasible ways of co-utilizing CH4, CO, and CO2 using ferric as terminal electron acceptor for the production of all key precursor metabolites. We identified the thermodynamically feasible co-utilization ratio ranges of CH4, CO, and CO2 toward production of the target metabolite(s) as a function of ferric uptake. A revised version of the iMAC868 genome-scale metabolic model of Methanosarcina acetivorans was chosen to assess co-utilization of CH4, CO, and CO2 and their conversion into selected target products using the optStoic pathway design tool. This revised version contains the latest information on electron flow mechanisms by the methanogen while supplied with methane as the sole carbon source. The interplay between different gas co-utilization ratios and the energetics of reverse methanogenesis were also analyzed using the same metabolic model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)