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Strain Engineering for Butanol

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CD Biosynsis can harness the power of synthetic biology to help our customers overcome the challenges in butanol production to meet the growing demand for the use of renewable butanol as feedstock for the production of biofuels and other valuable products. We also support large scale production of butanol to meet our customers' bulk chemical needs.

Advantages of Synthetic Biology-Driven Butanol Production

Butanol, also known as butyl alcohol, is a four-carbon compound with the molecular formula C4H9OH. Butanol was traditionally produced by the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation using the Clostridium species. However, developing a commercial process for butanol production faces many challenges such as low productivity, sluggish fermentation, high feedstock cost, butanol toxicity, and bacteriophage contamination. On the other hand, chemical synthesis is also not suitable to be developed as a commercial process for butanol production due to its high cost and the generation of unintended pollutants. Recent advances in synthetic biology have led to breakthroughs in the development of superior butanol-producing microorganisms through genetic and metabolic engineering strategies. Synthetic biology has enabled the de novo design of novel pathways for the efficient production of butanol from low-cost feedstocks and a series of renewable resources.

Figure 1. Metabolic pathways of synthetic butanol production using synthetic biology techniques. (Sekiguchi T, et al., 2021)Figure 1. Metabolic pathways of synthetic butanol production using synthetic biology techniques.  (Sekiguchi T, et al., 2021)

What We Provide

Leveraging our powerful synthetic biology platform, CD Biosynsis can provide our customers with custom synthetic biology services to help them develop effective strategies to achieve efficient biosynthesis of butanol.

Featured Services

  • Metabolic engineering of butanol-producing microorganisms to improve butanol production by reducing the formation of by-products such as acetone and organic acids.
  • Development of engineered microbial strains by transplanting butanol synthesis pathways such as the ABE pathway from butanol-producing strains to the genome of non-native host strains.
  • Construction of knockout strains to eliminate competing pathways to achieve higher butanol titer.


  • Butanol-producing microorganisms.
  • High-quality butanol products, including n-butanol (1-butanol), sec-butanol (2-butanol), tert-butanol (2-methylpropanol), and isobutanol.

How We Can Help

CD Biosynsis offers our expertise and advanced technologies to help our customers develop synthetic biology strategies to achieve efficient butanol production. Our scientists can develop customized and optimal strategies according to customer requirements for butanol production and downstream applications.

Development of Synthetic Biology Chassis for Butanol Production

Our expertise in bacterial synthetic biology, fungal synthetic biology and algae synthetic biology allows us to develop efficient genetic tools and metabolic engineering strategies to enable different types of microorganisms to acquire desirable traits and become ideal chassis for increasing butanol production. We focus on the key enzymes in the metabolic pathway for butanol biosynthesis. The following are bacteria, fungi, and algae strains that have the potential to be developed into synthetic biology chassis. If you are interested in other microbial strains, please fill out the online inquiry form and tell us more about your project.

Bacillus subtilis Clostridium acetobutylicum Clostridium aurantibutyricum Clostridium beijerinckii Clostridium butylicum
Clostridium cadaveris Clostridium carboxidivorus Clostridium cellulolyticum Clostridium cellulovorans Clostridium pasteurianum
Clostridium perfrigens Clostridium saccharoperbutylicum Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum Clostridium sporogenes Clostridium tetanomorphum
Clostridium thermocellum Clostridium tyrobutyricum Escherichia coli Lactobacillus brevis Lactobacillus buchneri
Lactococcus lactis Pseudomonas putida Saccharomyces cerevisiae Neochloris aquatica Synechococcus elongates

Overcome Challenges in Butanol Production

  • Low butanol selective and yield
    We integrate the hyper butanol-producing microorganisms into optimized fermentation process to improve butanol selectivity and achieve enhanced butanol yields.
  • Butanol toxicity
    We apply synthetic biology techniques to develop butanol-producing microorganisms with enhanced tolerance to high butanol concentrations and high solvent stress conditions.
  • Bacteriophage contamination
    We have established a rigorous testing system to ensure that raw materials, fermentation systems and equipment are protected from bacteriophage contamination during butanol production.
  • Relatively high cost
    A variety of butanol recovery techniques (e.g., adsorption, distillation, gas stripping, perstraction, reverse osmosis, pervaporation, liquid-liquid extraction, and supercritical fluid extraction) as well as renewable and low-cost feedstocks will be used to reduce the cost.

Applications of Butanol

CD Biosynsis provides customized solutions for synthetic biology-driven butanol production to meet a wide range of applications in laboratory and industrial production.

Applications of Butanol in the Laboratory

  • Used as humectant for cellulose nitrate.
  • Used as a solvent in organic synthesis.
  • Used as chemical intermediates to produce other chemicals, such as acrylate esters and acetates.

Applications of Butanol in the Manufacturing Industry

  • Used as a source of transport fuel.
  • Used as a solvent for textile processes and cleaning and polishing products.
  • Used as a paint thinner and coating applications.
  • Used as a base for perfumes.
  • Used in cosmetics, such as shampoo and soaps.
  • Used as food additives.
  • Used in plastics, polymers, lubricants, brake fluids, and synthetic rubber.

Want to Learn More?

As a rapidly growing synthetic biology company, CD Biosynsis is committed to helping our customers meet the growing and evolving demand for bio-based chemical production. All of our deliverables will undergo a rigorous quality testing process to ensure the quality and reliability and can be delivered on time. If you are interested in our services or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  1. Nanda S, et al. Fermentative production of butanol: perspectives on synthetic biology. New biotechnology, 2017, 37: 210-221.
  2. Sekiguchi T, et al. WinBEST-KIT: Biochemical Reaction Simulator for Analyzing Multi-Layered Metabolic Pathways. Bioengineering, 2021, 8(8): 114.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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