With an ever-increasing release of harmful greenhouse gases into the environment, there is an ongoing search for a renewable source of energy to replace the current means of producing energy. One promising source is from methanotrophic bacteria, which uses methane as its primary carbon source to produce valuable byproducts including lipids. These lipids could be used in the production of biofuels and other important industrial chemicals including plastics and surfactants. The use of methanotrophs would lower the amount of methane in the atmosphere from two sides, in the growth and cultivation of methanotrophs and in the replacement of conventional fossil fuels. The development of such a system requires a good understanding of the bacteria responsible and the steps of growth/culturing and extraction. An integrated system that uses every product of methanotrophic growth could impact multiple markets and help make this technique economically feasible as well as provide the groundwork for more sustainable engineering practices. Integration of this technology into an industrial setting would help spread the scope of this technique, and by using innovative sources of methane (landfills and locations of high organic decomposition), the extent of environmental benefits can expand even further. This technology allows for a more environmentally friendly alternative for fuels in both its production and utilization.
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