For much of the latter half of the 20th Century, those researchers who chose to work on solven togenic clostridia, such as Clostridium acetobutylicum, were viewed by many as somewhat eccentric. Why would anyone wish to focus on such a backwater area of science? As we entered the 21st Cen tury, the clamour for a reduction in our reliance on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels intensified, principally driven by concerns over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel security. One solution is to commercialize industrial processes based on the microbial conversion of renewable biomass into transportation fuels and other useful chemical commodities. In this regard, there has been a resurgence of interest in C. acetobutylicum, no longer the old warhorse of 20th Century solvent production, but a modernday saviour of the planet through the production of the 21st Century biofuel biobutanol.

This content is only available as a PDF.