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Electrobiocatalytic cascade for bulk reduction of CO2 to CO coupled to fermentative production of high value diamine monomers

Project description

Turning greenhouse gases into chemical treasures

In a world grappling with environmental crises, accessing sustainable platform chemicals remains a pressing challenge. The demand for CO2 and nitrogen-derived chemicals continues to grow, demanding innovative solutions. With this in mind, the EIC-funded ECOMO project unites bio-electrocatalysis, bio-hybrid materials and more to transform CO2 into high-value chemicals, offering a lifeline for our industries. The key innovation lies in harnessing nature’s catalysts (enzymes and microbial cells) for biotransformation. These tiny powerhouses operate with exceptional atom efficiency and offer environmentally friendly processes. Notably, ECOMO achieves full compatibility between electrochemical and biocatalytic processes by producing CO from CO2 through mediated electron transfer. Targeting the production of high-value diamine monomers, ECOMO paves the way for sustainable polymeric materials.


The access to platform chemicals made of CO2 and nitrogen sources as starting materials via sustainable processes requires radical innovations. Driven by the global need of existing and growing markets, combined technologies that make use of renewable energy and the greenhouse gas CO2, and the use of nature’s catalysts such as enzymes and microbial cells through biotransformation steps are expected to have a game changing impact. Such catalysts can operate at ambient conditions at high atom efficiency through environmentally and energetically friendly processes. In this context ECOMO unites bioelectrocatalysis, biohybrid materials sciences, organic synthesis, technical microbiology, and process engineering for CO gas fermentation to acetate and a subsequent production of diamines. The fermentation steps will be achieved by specifically engineered microbial strains using CO as both the carbon source and energy carrier. As core novelty, the CO will be produced in situ apart from the electrode in the bulk solution from CO2 through a mediated electron transfer to free floating beads where CO-dehydrogenase is immobilized within the acetate forming bacterial cell culture. This will enable for the first time, full compatibility between electrochemical and biocatalytic processes. The synthetic aim is to yield high value-added diamine monomers as building blocks for established classes of polymeric materials. ECOMO will establish new bio based and biohybrid modules that will be directly compatible with the existing bioreactor infrastructure for the producing of specialty chemicals directly from CO2. By achieving the production of diamines as a proof-of-concept, ECOMO will foster further diversification to many other products made from CO2 and thus enhances the synthetic availability of needed building blocks for the chemical industry. The decoupling from fossil-sourced energy and raw materials underpin the timeliness of ECOMO.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 223 047,50
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 230 547,50

Participants (4)