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Hydrogenases for Large Scale Deployment of H2 as a Circular Energy Carrier in Industrial Biotechnology Based on Enzymatic Catalysts


Rapid transition toward the use of renewable, energy-efficient and recyclable resource is needed in industrial biotechnology to achieve sustainable production of chemicals. However, enzyme based biocatalytic processes still mostly rely on fossil-sourced or carbon rich reactants. Efficient, scalable, selective and robust catalysts are needed to deploy H2 as a clean, circular and renewable reactant in industrial biotechnology.
Our recent breakthrough in making robust and scalable hydrogenases, Nature's highly active catalyst for H2 oxidation and H2 production, opens the possibility to meet the industrial requirements in terms of i) compatibility with biocatalysis, ii) circular chemistry, and iii) economic and technical competitiveness over fossil-sourced reactants. The overarching aim of CirculH2 is to demonstrate the successful development of one or more highly robust and scalable hydrogenases for use of H2 that selectively drives biotransformations of bio-based materials to specialty and commodity chemicals in an industrial environment (TRL6). Modelling of the reaction processes and lifecycle assessment will deliver a full quantitative evaluation of the performances and applicability of the hydrogenase-biotransformation systems. This will provide convincing evidence for the adoption in industry.
CirculH2 will deliver a scalable and robust H2-driven biotechnology compatible with the existing infrastructure that will advance European competitiveness in the sustainable and circular production of chemicals. It will minimize energy usage by having negligible resource losses and minimal downstream processing due to its highly selective hydrogenase catalysts. The CirculH2 technology aims at replacing the heavily used legacy methods of chemical production and enable decarbonization of industrial biotechnology.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 201 000,00
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 201 000,00

Participants (10)