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Microbially catalyzed electricity driven bioproduction from CO2 at the
cathode in bioelectrochemical systems


The breakthroughs in extracellular electron transfer abilities of several bacteria and other technological advancements during last decade facilitated the development of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) like microbial fuel cells, which are on the threshold from a lab bench to technological realization for electricity generation. The electricity driven microbial metabolism at cathode has recently opened a new horizon in BES research as it provides very appealing and novel route for the production of valuable fuels and chemicals from CO2 and organics [referred to as microbial electrosynthesis (MES)]. At present, bioproduction via MES exists conceptually or to a limited extent in the laboratory. So far, very few microbial catalysts for these processes have been identified and the impact of electrode materials and operational parameters on microbial colonization at cathodes is not known. Furthermore, there is no developed model of such processes in an engineered environment. The proposed research in MicrobioElectrosyn will tackle these aspects on the example of acetate production by employing several microbiological, electrochemical, molecular biology, chromatography, bioengineering methods and techniques. The accomplishment of proposed objectives with a multidisciplinary approach is expected to advance the MES research with regard to aforementioned challenges for the production of fine chemicals from CO2 and electricity as well as generate scientific and commercial outcome with both environmental and economic benefits for the EU. It represents a Carbon Capture and Consumption approach and is in strong relationship with several national programs worldwide to transform CO2 into new molecules. Overall, it will enable and promote innovative and knowledge-based technologies for bioproduction. Furthermore, if linked to the wastewater treatment as an electron source, it has a potential to address the aspiration of producing high value products from waste.

Call for proposal

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Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Saskia Vanden Broeck (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 177 000