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Synthetic microbial consortia for syngas fermentation

  • 16 April, 2018
  • Wageningen University, Microbiology
  • prof. dr ir AJM Stamsprof. dr DZ Machado De Sousa

This project aims to establish synthetic microbial consortia for the conversion of synthesis gas (syngas) into added-value products. Syngas is a gas mixture of CO, CO2 and H2 which can be obtained from the gasification of renewable biomass or waste resources. It is also produced as a waste stream in the steel and concrete industries. Previous research at the Laboratory of Microbiology (WUR) demonstrated the production of C4 and C6 fatty-acids and alcohols by a co-culture of Clostridium species growing on syngas. In this project, this consortium will be enlarged by adding a propionic acid-producing bacterium, aiming at expanding the array of products with focus on longer and odd-chain fatty acids. These are rare in nature but important building blocks for the chemical industry. The project is embedded in a public-private partnership comprising Wageningen University, Wageningen Food and Biobased Research (WFBR), the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and two industrial partners, Paques and Torrgas. In putting together different areas of expertise, including microbial physiology, synthetic biology, biocatalysis and industrial fermentation, an important contribution will be made to closing the carbon cycle while generating impact on the industry of the circular economy.
Keywords: syngas fermentation, carbon monoxide, Clostridium, VFAs (volatile fatty acids), chain elongation

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Ivette Parera Olm

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