The goal of this project is to develop gas fermentation processes at higher temperatures using the thermophilic bacterium Thermoanaerobacter T. kivui als promising platform microorganism. The rationale behind this is the ability of T. kivui (optimal growth temperature of 66 °C) to efficiently metabolize the gaseous carbon and energy sources CO2, CO and H2. Generally, there are a few advantages of thermophilic microorganisms for industrial bioprocesses compared to mesophilic microorganisms: lower contamination risk, higher growth rates and substrate utilization rates, smaller energy demand (e.g. due to reduced need for cooling).

The idea of this project is to develop gas fermentation processes with T. kivui for conversion of synthesis gas (CO, H2, CO2) into value-added products such as base materials for bioplastic production. Synthesis gas as central feedstock can be supplied by e.g. biomass gasification technology. A coupled process of biomass gasification and gas fermentation at high temperatures could efficiently and sustainably upgrade non-food, non-feed biomass.

To achieve this goal, we investigate the physiology and metabolism of T. kivui. Simultaneously, we develop tools for efficient genetic manipulation to e.g. use metabolic engineering to expand the product spectrum of T. kivui. Furthermore, we develop strategies for efficient gas conversion bioprocesses, which we can scale into a 20-liter bubble column pilot system.

Work package leader: Ass.-Prof. Dr. nat. techn. Stefan Pflügl

Contact (gas fermentation):

Contact (biomass gasification):

Funding and partners:

[Translate to English:] Logo von Circe mit grüner Schrift und offenem Kreis am Ende, Logo der CDG