Clostridium acetobutylicum

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Clostridium acetobutylicum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Firmicutes
Class: Clostridia
Order: Clostridiale
Family: Clostridiaceae
Genus: Clostridium
Species: C. acetobutylicum

Clostridium acetobutylicum, ATCC 824, is a commercially valuable bacterium sometimes called the "Weizmann Organism", after Jewish-Russian-born Chaim Weizmann. A senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, England, he used them in 1916 as a bio-chemical tool to produce at the same time, jointly, acetone, ethanol, and butanol from starch. The method has been described since as the ABE process, (Acetone Butanol Ethanol fermentation process), yielding 3 parts of acetone, 6 of butanol, and 1 of ethanol, reducing the former difficulties to make cordite, an explosive, from acetone and paving the way also, for instance, to obtain vehicle fuels and synthetic rubber.

Unlike yeast, which can digest sugar only into alcohol and carbon dioxide, C. acetobutylicum and other Clostridia can digest whey, sugar, starch, cellulose and perhaps certain types of lignin, yielding butanol, propionic acid, ether, and glycerin.

In genetic engineering[edit]

In 2008, a strain of Escherichia coli was genetically engineered to synthesize butanol; the genes were derived from Clostridium acetobutylicum.[1][2] In 2013, the first microbial production of short-chain alkanes was reported[3] - which is a considerable step toward the production of gasoline. One of the crucial enzymes - a fatty acyl-CoA reductase - came from Clostridium acetobutylicum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Atsumi, S.; Hanai, T.; Liao, JC. (Jan 2008). "Non-fermentative pathways for synthesis of branched-chain higher alcohols as biofuels.". Nature 451 (7174): 86–9. doi:10.1038/nature06450. PMID 18172501. 
  3. ^ Choi, YJ.; Lee, SY. (Oct 2013). "Microbial production of short-chain alkanes.". Nature 502 (7472): 571–4. doi:10.1038/nature12536. PMID 24077097. 

See,Internet: Probably, you can see, for immediate results, (consulted May 2011): 27 hits 6 Fuel and Energy 107-123 42 hits 7 Waste Treatment and Utilization 124-141 36 hits 8 Cellulose Conversion 142-157

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

ISSN: 01757598 CODEN: AMBID doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2707-z PMID 20535464 Document Type: Short Survey Source Type: Journal