Synthetic biology is helping with the production of biofuels in two fronts:
- Improving existing methods of biofuel production from plants,
- Creating new "cell factories" capable of generating energy from traditional and non-traditional forms of feedstock.
To do so, synthetic biologists:
- Generate industrial enzymes through engineering biosynthetic pathways to either increase the yield or quality of traditional biofuel-generating pathways, or to generate biofuel from novel, engineered metabolic pathways;
- Generate industrial microbes through engineering host organisms as "cell factories" in the form of strain improvement of organisms that are innately capable of generating energy, or strain development through importing useful genes to host organisms that can render them capable of using unique feedstocks to generate energy.