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EXPLORING NEW HALO-AUTOTROPHIC PATHWAYS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL COST-EFFECTIVE DUAL METHANE AND CARBON DIOXIDE ELIMINATION TECHNOLOGY

Project description

Turning greenhouse gases into product with high market value

In its climate and energy policy framework for 2030, the EU has set a target of reducing emissions to 40 % below 1990 levels by 2030. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions represent approximately 90 % of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, and their share is expected to increase due to their industrial and organic-based nature as well as the increasing world population. The EU-funded ENHANCEMENT project will develop a friendly biotechnological strategy to convert CH4 and CO2 into the most expensive compound produced by microorganisms: ectoine. In this project, bacteria will be used to transform the two most important GHGs into compounds with a high market value. For this, halophilic ectoine producers from the genus Halomonas will be used. This interdisciplinary investigation will assist the EU to achieve its emission reduction targets.

Objective

Nowadays, CH4 and CO2 emissions represent approximately 90% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory worldwide, and their share is expected to increase due to their industrial and organic-based nature as well as the increasing world population. The European Union, due to the urgent need to maintain global average temperatures 2ºC below pre-industrial levels, has developed clear targets in the Horizon H2020 climate actions based on building a low-carbon, climate resilient future as well as greening the economy. This situation requires intensive research on novel, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly bio-technological strategies for GHGs treatment focused on creating a climate-neutral scenario and a green economy. In this context, the ENHANCEMENT project fulfill these requirements with the simultaneous bioconversion of both CH4 and CO2 into the most expensive compound produced by microorganisms – ectoine (14,000 $ kg-1) – using halophilic ectoine producers from the genus Halomonas. This is the first and only technology that can abate both GHGs simultaneously, resulting only in water, cells, and resting metabolites with a high market value. However, the market uptake of this biotechnology requires: 1) unravelling the metabolic pathways that allow the members of the Hallomonas genus to transform CH4 and CO2 simultaneously into ectoine, and 2) testing the biotechnological potential of this new platform capable of creating value out of GHG mitigation through its implementation under discontinuous and continuous operation in high mass transfer bioreactors. In this context, the ENHANCEMENT project represents a multi- and inter-disciplinary investigation focused on achieving the Horizon H2020 goals through developing a sustainable GHG bioeconomy. Moreover, it will also strengthen the applicant’s curriculum and provide her with the soft skills required to take the next step of her scientific career towards becoming an R3 – Experienced Researcher.

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Coordinator

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY
Net EU contribution
€ 187 572,48
Address
Droevendaalsesteeg 4
6708 PB Wageningen
Netherlands

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Region
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Veluwe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00