Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2022 Nov 25;38(11):4329-4334. doi: 10.13345/j.cjb.220594.
Traditionally, amino acids are produced mainly by chemical synthesis or aerobic fermentation. Compared to chemical synthesis, production of amino acids by microbial fermentation directly uses renewable resources as feedstock and this reduces the dependence on petroleum-based compounds and decreases pollutants generation and toxic substrates usage. Fermentation under aerobic conditions has been used widely for its fast growth and high titers. However, a large amount of carbon is used for cell growth and this results in high biomass but low yield of target chemicals. Unlike the long history of aerobic fermentation, the commercial production of amino acids by anaerobic fermentation is realized only in recent years. It has several advantages such as simpler operation, no need for oxygen supply, and high yield close to the theoretical maximum value. L-alanine is the first amino acid commercially produced by anaerobic fermentation. In this article, we summarize the key technology for anaerobic fermentative production of L-alanine and its commercialization. As it is shown to be low-cost, high-efficiency, and environmental-friendly, anaerobic fermentation is expected to be widely used in industrial process and brings greater economic values and social benefits in the future.