Microbial communities and co-cultures for highly selective gas bioconversions in attached growth systems - GASBIO

The vision is a gas fermentation platform that produces chemicals and fuels from renewable resources.

The aim of GASBIO is to discover, isolate and analyze mixed microbial consortia and design co-cultures that are able to convert syngas (H2, CO and CO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) into solvents, mainly butanol and acetone and evaluate the developed processes from a techno-economical point-of view.

 

The last ten years, there has been a growth of research activities on syngas fermentation (SF) and CO2 valorization.

 

The research mainly focus on pure or defined co-cultures but the interest on using mixed (undefined) microbial consortia is increasing.

 

The mixed microbial communities are more robust and resistant against the syngas impurities and the process does not require sterilization, reducing thus the energy consumption and risk of contamination.

 

With increasing temperature the solubility of syngas in water decreases while the diffusion rates increase thereby making thermophilic gas fermentations as efficient as mesophilic fermentations.

 

However, the complexity of the mixed cultures, thus, the microbial interactions and the product transfer cause challenges and decrease product selectivity and the ability to control the process.

 

We have recently showed that efficient reactor design can overcome mass transfer limitations increasing microbial activities at higher temperature, resulting in higher productivities, even with sparingly soluble substrates as CO and H2.

 

The GASBIO project combine all this and takes advantage of the metabolic and evolutionary capability of mixed microbial communities, while applying thermodynamic and metabolic pathway analysis to guide the SF design to increase the product specificity.

 

The main objective is to develop thermophilic microbial co-cultures that can synergistically metabolize gaseous substrates and maintain a high product selectivity.

 

The aim is to produce butanol and acetone, but the platform can potentially be developed for other products.

 

To achieve this the project further aims to discover, isolate and analyze novel co-cultures, and evaluate the developed processes from a techno-economical point-of view.

 

 

 

Main supervisor:
Hariklia Gavala

 

Co- supervisors:
Ioannis V. Skiadas

Alex Toftgaard Nielsen
Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen

 

Industry partner: Haldor Topsøe

 

Contact

Martin Malthe Borch
PhD student
DTU Chemical Engineering

Contact

Ioannis V. Skiadas
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 27 29

Contact

Alex Toftgaard Nielsen
Professor
DTU Biosustain
+45 21 79 89 06

Contact

Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen
Specialist
DTU Biosustain
+45 40 57 39 47

Contact

Hariklia N. Gavala
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 61 96