[Tobacco--a source of biofuels]

Przegl Lek. 2012;69(10):1149-52.
[Article in Polish]


One of the concepts of global protection of environment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere by replacing fossil fuels by the so-called biofuels, which can be obtained from cultivated plants or any plant waste biomass. Currently applied industrial technologies allow the production of biofuels to receive ethanol, mostly from the reserve carbohydrates of sugar cane and corn as well as biodiesel from oil, mainly from rapeseed or oil palm. Tobacco, which provides a high biomass, can be used to produce biogas, bioethanol and biodiesel. The latter derived from oil from seeds and leaves of tobacco has proved useful for driving cars. Modest oil content in tobacco leaves can be increased by the expression of foreign genes encoding its biosynthesis. Promising future source of biofuels is a waste plant biomass consisting mainly of cell walls, which can be subjected to the degradation to produce sugars suitable for fermentation and the production of bioethanol. A number of enzymes needed for efficient degradation of plant cell walls can be produced using recombinant DNA technology in a variety of plants, particularly in chloroplasts of tobacco.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels*
  • Biomass*
  • Energy-Generating Resources*
  • Ethanol / chemical synthesis
  • Gases / chemical synthesis
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Tobacco / metabolism*


  • Biofuels
  • Gases
  • Ethanol