From waste to value: Green chemical production in mixed microbial cultures

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Abstract

Today’s chemical production and energy supply strongly depend on fossil feedstocks. This is not only linked to problematic greenhouse gas emissions. The limitation of fossil resources also means there is an imminent end to traditional hydrocarbon economy and industries will need to deploy production concepts on the basis of renewable commodities1. Mixed culture biotechnology holds promise to become a corner stone in next generation chemical production platforms2. Unlike microbial pure cultures requiring sterile substrates, mixed cultures can produce valuable chemicals from low-value feedstocks and even waste streams. However, controlling the product spectrum in mixed microbial bioconversions remains a key challenge and progress in this direction is hampered since generalized process models are not yet encompassing the formation of higher value products3.
Here we present general extensions to state-of-the-art process models that allow an improved implementation of resource and energy recovery in the frame of mixed microbial conversions. Taking the example of butanol, an energy-rich biofuel with properties similar to gasoline, we demonstrate how continuous production strategies can be established. These strategies rest on ecological selection principles aimed to direct the microbial population structure towards a desired product space4. We anticipate our model framework to be the starting point for intensified research at the intersection of environmental and industrial biotechnology with a mission to leverage the full potential of circular economy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event5th BioProScale Symposium 2018: Innovative scale up and scale down for bioprocess intensification -
Duration: 20 Mar 201822 Mar 2018
http://biotechnologie.ifgb.de/front_content.php?idart=264&idcat=14&lang=4

Conference

Conference5th BioProScale Symposium 2018: Innovative scale up and scale down for bioprocess intensification
Period20/03/201822/03/2018
Internet address

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