Isobutyric acid is a high-volume industrial chemical produced from non-sustainable petroleum feedstocks and toxic materials. It can, e.g., be converted into methacrylic acid and the methyl ester of this is produced in a quantity of 2.2 million tonnes per year for the synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate).
Kechun Zhang, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, and colleagues developed a synthetic metabolic pathway in Escherichia coli to enable the biosynthesis of isobutyric acid from glucose, a renewable carbon source.
The biosynthetic approach is the earliest attempt to produce isobutyric acid in a renewable fashion and an attractive option from both an economical and environmental point of view.
- A Synthetic Metabolic Pathway for Production of the Platform Chemical Isobutyric Acid,
Kechun Zhang, Adam P. Woodruff, Mingyong Xiong, Jun Zhou, Yogesh K. Dhande,