Energetic and Other Quantitative Aspects of Microbial Hydrocarbon Utilization: An Introduction

  • F. WiddelEmail author
  • F. Musat
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Hydrocarbons represent “energy-rich” growth substrates for aerobic microorganisms and in principle allow high growth yields. In contrast, the energy gain with hydrocarbons in many anaerobic microorganisms is very low. The maximum gain of energy per mol of hydrocarbon degraded in the catabolism is predicted from calculated ΔG values. Some anaerobic degradation reactions of hydrocarbons with very low-energy gain as well as anaerobic activation reactions of hydrocarbons deserve particular attention from a bioenergetic point of view.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Marine MicrobiologyBremenGermany
  2. 2.UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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