Microbial processes can be explored to generate the array of products from syngas. This programme deals with developing novel microbial syngas conversion concepts and biotechnological processes considering overall business case feasibility.
With the increasing global population and fossil resource consumption, there is the need to develop new technologies to produce commodity chemicals from renewable resources. In this context, gasification of biomass/waste followed by the biological conversion of the generated syngas (a gaseous mixture of CO, H2, and CO2) attracts increasing attention. Furthermore, the bioconversion technology can also be applied in the treatment of CO-containing waste gases from heavy industries (e.g. steel industry). Currently, the main bottlenecks in syngas bioconversion include: 1) low CO conversion rates to CO, 2) limited product spectra, and 3) reduced mass transfer rates of syngas.
This NWO-domain TTW programme brings together a multidisciplinary team of microbiologists and (bio)process engineers to tackle these major gaps by 1) discovering novel microbes with high CO-conversion rates and resistance, 2) designing synthetic consortia or engineered microbes for the production of low-solubility molecules or volatiles 3) evaluating, developing, and testing novel intensified high-cell density bioreactors with enhanced gas-liquid mass transfer and smart product recovery strategies. This programme will result in new opportunities for expanding and scaling-up syngas fermentation processes and will be vital for the biobased economy in the coming decades.