A comprehensive review on enhanced production of microbial lipids for high-value applications

Rupal Gupta, Srijoni Banerjee, Soumya Pandit, Piyush Kumar Gupta, Abhilasha Singh Mathriya, Sanjay Kumar, Dibyajit Lahiri, Moupriya Nag, Rina Rani Ray, Sanket Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Microbes are the major source of lipids, which include fatty acids and glycerolipids. Lipids are used as bioplastic and biosurfactants in several industries. Value-added compounds like alpha-linolenic acid, 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO), fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), keto-carotenoids, lactic acid, 2,3-butanediol, citric acid, lutein, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), 1,3-dihydroxyacetone, oleic acid, propionic acid, and succinic acid have huge applications in textile, cosmetic, food, metallurgy, and pharmaceutical industries. These microbial-based lipids have various industrial and technology applications as printing inks, lubricants, coatings, polymers, solvents, leather processing, hydraulic fluids, surfactants, glycerin (glycerol), pesticide/herbicide adjuvants, and fuels. Biotechnological processes such as medium engineering and metabolic engineering can enhance lipid production in microbes to a certain limit. Integrated biorefinery concept was introduced for cost reduction, efficient utilisation of feedstocks, high yield, zero waste discharges, high productivity, and economically viable technology development. It integrates the conversion of biomass to energy and other high-value products. This review focuses on the bioreactor design; integrated biorefineries; genetic and metabolic engineering prospect of enhanced microbial lipid production; application of microbial lipids in various sectors such as pharmaceuticals, dietary supplement, cosmetics, and biodiesel production; costing; and life cycle assessment. Furthermore, value-added products such as carotenoids, organic acids, polyhydroxyalkanoates, and fatty acids were also discussed. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofuel
  • Biorefinery concept
  • Cosmetics
  • Fatty acids
  • Food
  • Lipids
  • Pharmaceutical industries
  • Value-added products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'A comprehensive review on enhanced production of microbial lipids for high-value applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this