Development of Carbon-Conserving Biosynthetic Systems Co-Utilizing C1 and Biomass Derived Feedstocks
Project Innovation + Advantages:
ZymoChem will develop carbon- and energy-efficient biocatalysts capable of co-conversion of one-carbon molecules and biomass-derived substrates to a high-volume platform fuel and chemical intermediate. The team will demonstrate a carbon-conserving process decoupling growth and production. Most bioprocesses using microbes and renewable feedstocks to make fuels and chemicals are unprofitable, precluding their adoption on the industrial scale. When most microbes convert renewable feedstocks to fuels and industrial chemicals, they waste more than 33% of the input carbon in the form of CO2 during production. The process will enable improved carbon efficiency during the growth phase and 100% carbon-efficient production of bioproducts during the production phase, using biomass-derived sugars and methanol as a reducing equivalent carrier. If successful, this project will create a new foundation for commercially attractive carbon-efficient bioprocesses.
The application of biology to sustainable uses of waste carbon resources for the generation of energy, intermediates, and final products---i.e., supplanting the “bioeconomy”—provides economic, environmental, social, and national security benefits and offers a promising means of carbon management.