Toward a Resilient Future: The Promise of Microbial Bioeconomy

Naturally occurring resources, such as water, energy, minerals, and rare earth elements, are limited in availability, yet they are essential components for the survival and development of all life. The pressure on these finite resources is anthropogenic, arising from misuse, overuse, and overdependence, which causes a loss of biodiversity and climate change and poses great challenges to sustainable development. The focal points and principles of the bioeconomy border around ensuring the constant availability of these natural resources for both present and future generations. The rapid growth of the microbial bioeconomy is promising for the purpose of fostering a resilient and sustainable future. This highlights the economic opportunity of using microbial-based resources to substitute fossil fuels in novel products, processes, and services. The subsequent discussion delves into the essential principles required for implementing the microbial bioeconomy. There is a further exploration into the latest developments and innovations in this sub-field. The multi-sectoral applications include use in bio-based food and feed products, energy recovery, waste management, recycling, and cascading. In multi-output production chains, enhanced microbes can simultaneously produce multiple valuable and sustainable products. The review also examines the barriers and facilitators of bio-based approaches for a sustainable economy. Despite limited resources, microbial-based strategies demonstrate human ingenuity for sustaining the planet and economy. This review highlights the existing research and knowledge and paves the way for a further exploration of advancements in microbial knowledge and its potential applications in manufacturing, energy production, reduction in waste, hastened degradation of waste, and environmental conservation.
Publication history: Accepted - 19 April 2023; Published - 27 April 2023.
sustainability, microorganisms, energy, biotechnology, biocatalysis, biotransformation, industrial applications, circular bioeconomy
Akinsemolu, A., Onyeaka, H., Fagunwa, O. and Adenuga, A.H. (2023) ‘Toward a Resilient Future: The Promise of Microbial Bioeconomy’, Sustainability. MDPI AG. Available at: