Cyanobacteria as an eco-friendly resource for biofuel production: A critical review

Biotechnol Prog. 2019 Sep;35(5):e2835. doi: 10.1002/btpr.2835. Epub 2019 May 22.


Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms which can be found in various environmental habitats. These photosynthetic bacteria are considered as promising feedstock for the production of the third- and the fourth-generation biofuels. The main subject of this review is highlighting the significant aspects of the biofuel production from cyanobacteria. The most recent investigations about the extraction or separation of the bio-oil from cyanobacteria are also adduced in the present review. Moreover, the genetic engineering of cyanobacteria for improving biofuel production and the impact of bioinformatics studies on the designing better-engineered strains are mentioned. The large-scale biofuel production is challenging, so the economic considerations to provide inexpensive biofuels are also cited. It seems that the future of biofuels is strongly dependent to the following items; understanding the metabolic pathways of the cyanobacterial species, progression in the construction of the engineered cyanobacteria, and inexpensive large-scale cultivation of them.

Keywords: biofuel; biomass; cultivation; cyanobacteria; genetic engineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels*
  • Biomass
  • Cyanobacteria* / genetics
  • Cyanobacteria* / metabolism
  • Genetic Engineering


  • Biofuels