Determining global trends in syngas fermentation research through a bibliometric analysis

Diana C. Calvo, Hector J. Luna, Jineth A. Arango, Cesar I. Torres, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Syngas fermentation, in which microorganisms convert H2, CO, and CO2 to acids and alcohols, is a promising alternative for carbon cycling and valorization. The intellectual landscape of the topic was characterized through a bibliometric analysis using a search query (SQ) that included all relevant documents on syngas fermentation available through the Web of Science database up to December 31st, 2021. The SQ was validated with a preliminary analysis in bibliometrix and a review of titles and abstracts of all sources. Although syngas fermentation began in the early 1980s, it grew rapidly beginning in 2008, with 92.5% of total publications and 87.3% of total citations from 2008 to 2021. The field has been steadily moving from fundamentals towards applications, suggesting that the field is maturing scientifically. The greatest number of publications and citations are from the USA, and researchers in China, Germany, and Spain also are highly active. Although collaborations have increased in the past few years, author-cluster analysis shows specialized research domains with little collaboration between groups. Based on topic trends, the main challenges to be address are related to mass-transfer limitations, and researchers are starting to explore mixed cultures, genetic engineering, microbial chain elongation, and biorefineries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114522
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Carboxylate platform
  • Network analysis
  • Syngas fermentation
  • Synthesis gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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