1501 - High value chemical compounds by cyanobacteria
Agenda

1501 – High value chemical compounds by cyanobacteria

Projecttitel: Production of high value chemical compounds by cyanobacteria in volumetricphoto-biorectors,driven by light from (far)red LEDs. 
Projectnummer: BBE-1501
Looptijd: 2015 – 2018
Budget publiek: € 245.000
Budget privaat: € 245.000
Projectleider: K.J. Hellingwerf
Betrokken partijen: Photanol, Tendris Solutions, University of Amsterdam


A consortium of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Photanol B.V. (Photanol) and Tendris Solutions B.V. (Tendris) will jointly work on the development of a new production system for the production of high value chemical compounds by means of ‘direct conversion’ (also referred to as the Photanol process). 

This process uses engineered cyanobacteria to convert CO2 directly and efficiently into predetermined products when exposed to light. This CO2-consuming process is based on circular economy principles and is truly sustainable, widely applicable and independent of food economy. 

light + H2O + CO2 → product + oxygen 

This technology is not dependent on soil quality nor does it need high-tech infrastructure. Application is modular and hence can be globally employed to the benefit of consumers from both local small-scale settings and (very) large-scale industrial production. Compared to classical fermentation, direct conversion uses 40 times less land area and up to 10.000 times less water. 

The project will address two main challenges for the realisation of a positive business case for production on an industrial scale: 

  • Realisation of axenic growth and maintaining an axenic system during the whole production cycle. 
  • Increase of the production rate of the producing cyanobacteria. 

With the current tubular Photo-BioReactor (PBR) systems it is difficult to maintain axenic growth. A volumetric Photo-BioReactor (PBR) with LEDs as a light source could be better suited to maintain axenic growth. In addition, the use of LEDs will enable to steer the influx of light with the optimal intensity and wavelength to maximise productivity. 

The objective of this project is threefold 

  • to design, construct, and test a volumetric photo-bioreactor for the axenic growth of engineered cyanobacteria 
  • to gain basic knowledge on factors that dictate the photonic growth yield of oxyphototrophic micro-organisms and its dependence on wavelength of the actinic light and the coupling of intermediary carbon metabolism and engineered product-forming pathways in cyanobacteria
  • to develop sets of selective process conditions that favour the producing organism and the production of products. 

Desired products:

  • A prototype volumetric photo-bioreactor for the axenic growth of engineered cyanobacteria
  • Basic knowledge on factors that dictate the photonic growth yield of oxyphototrophic micro-organisms and its dependence on wavelength of the actinic light and on the coupling of intermediary carbon metabolism with engineered product-forming pathways in cyanobacteria
  • Sets of selective process conditions that favour the producing organism and the production of products. 

Rapportages