Why is it good to use Glycerol as carbon source to produce intermediates in pharmaceuticals?

My best guess would be because it produces a lot of ATP per carbon. But I haven't found anything to verify my hunch.

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    $\begingroup$ You might get better answers on Chemistry.SE if you are asking about the process of chemically synthesizing pharmaceuticals. However, I'm confused, why are you referring to ATP? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 20 '17 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause okay thank you I will. Well okay maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong I just thought about how when using Glycerol as a carbon source for E.coli it produces more ATP/fuels more growth per carbon than for example Glucose. $\endgroup$ – Berghor Feb 20 '17 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking about pharmaceutical production by E.coli? That's getting a lot more specific than your question suggested originally. If you have a citation to a particular protocol or something that might also help you get better quality answers. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 20 '17 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference for the fact that more ATP per carbon is produced from glycerol than from glucose? $\endgroup$ – Flo Feb 21 '17 at 0:34

First, glycerol is economically and environmentally interesting as a substrate. It is a side product of first generation biodiesel production, which has been increasing in the past years. So large amounts of glycerol are being accumulated, while we make little use of it. Therefore it has become a necessity to develop glycerol utilizing industries. Another consequence is that glycerol is now a cheap and abundant substrate.

The metabolism of glycerol is quite complex and has many end products that are of industrial relevance. For example, 1,3-propanediol and succinic acid have commercial applications and can be produced directly from glycerol by some microorganisms. So depending on the strain you use, you may not need heavy metabolic engineering.

Here is an article that might help you.


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