Project summary


BioRECO2VER aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of more energy efficient and sustainable non-photosynthetic biotechnological processes for the capture and conversion of CO2 from industrial point sources like refineries and cement production plants into valuable platform chemicals, i.e. isobutene and lactate.

To overcome several of the existing technical and economic barriers for CO2 conversion by industrial biotechnology, BioRECO2VER will focus on minimizing gas pre-treatment costs, maximizing gas transfer in bioreactors, preventing product inhibition, minimizing product recovery costs, reducing footprint and improving scalability.

To this end, a hybrid enzymatic process will be investigated for CO2 capture from industrial point sources and conversion of captured CO2 into the targeted end-products will be realized through three different proprietary microbial platforms which are representative of a much wider range of products and applications. Bioprocess development and optimization will occur along two lines: fermentation and bio-electrochemical systems.


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Objectives


BioRECO2VER will reach this through the following specific objectives:

 

  • Development and application of robust enzymes for efficient CO2 capture from industrial point sources by combining enzymatic absorption with ionic liquid-amine blends
  • Development of three different microbial platforms for CO2 conversion into platform chemicals using carbon-free energy supply
  • Development of novel fermenter designs to increase fermentation efficiency and optimize process conditions
  • Development of bioelectrochemical systems that use in situ generated H2 and renewable electricity as the energy source
  • Validation of the most promising isobutene and lactate production route at technology readiness level 5 on real off gases
  • Modelling and optimization of the modular technology train
  • Provide sustainability assessment and proof of socio-economic and industrial feasibility

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Expected impacts


The BioRECO2VER project will provide beneficial impacts on the efficient microbial production of CO2-based valuable platform chemicals from industrial off-gases.

This addresses specifically, the:

 

  • Creation of an enzymatic CO2 capture process that will reduce energy and cost, increase process impurity resistance and subsequently yield a concentrated gas stream of at least 95% CO2
  • Reduction in downstream processing efforts through production of a gaseous molecule or coupling with separation technology for in situ product recovery (reduction in energy consumption)
  • Establishment of an optimized modular technology train from CO2 source to final marketable products (deviation of model with respect to experimental results <15%, process improvement through optimized set of operation and design parameters)
  • More favourable sustainability assessment of the microbial CO2 conversion (lower carbon footprint compared to gas fermentation at non-optimized conditions, processes relevant for >5% of industrial CO2 emissions in Europe)
  • Proof of socio-economic and industrial feasibility (equivalent variable costs compared to conventional process and replication of the process for at least 2 other major industrial CO2 emitters).

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