GASCHEM: Optimising industrial gas fermentation for commercial low-carbon fuel & chemical production through systems and synthetic biology approaches

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Life Sciences

Abstract

Global Energy demand is expected to increase by up to 40% by 2030. The key challenge facing the global community is to not only increase the sources of energy supply, but to also maximize the use of sustainable forms of energy to safeguard the environment while ensuring that the latter do not detrimentally impact food supplies. In this regard, renewable sources of energy will play an increasing role in the global primary energy supply. The UK government, along with the majority of the civilised world, have now set challenging targets for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG). Centre stage is the need for the sustainable production of hydrocarbons for energy, lubricants, and high value chemicals.

Traditional routes to chemical generation through biological systems have been reliant on the conversion of the more tractable components of plant biomass (sugars and starch) into chemicals, and in particular biofuels. The microbes employed ferment the easily accessible sugar and/or starch of plants, such as sugar cane or corn, and convert them into biofuels, most commonly ethanol. This has led to concerns over competition with use of these products as food, and a re-focussing of efforts on so-called 'second generation' biofuels. These are generated from cell wall material (lignocellulose) derived from non-food crops or agricultural wastes, such as willow and straw, respectively. Cell wall material is a product of photosynthesis, whereby plants convert atmospheric carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into sugars which are then used to assemble the complex carbon-based polymer, lignocellulose. For the fermentative growth of microbes on plant cell walls, lignocellulose must first be converted back into simple sugars. However, lignocellulose is extremely resistant to breakdown. Overcoming this recalcitrance in a cost effective manner is proving extremely challenging.

An alternative route would be to directly capture carbon, by harnessing the ability of certain bacteria, typified by Clostridium ljungdahli, to 'eat' the gas carbon monoxide (CO). When CO is injected into the liquid medium of fermentation vessels it is consumed by Clostridium ljungdahlii and converted into ethanol. Fortunately, CO is an abundant resource, and a waste product of industries such as steel manufacturing, oil refining and chemical production. Moreover, it can be readily generated in the form of Synthesis Gas ('Syngas'), by the gasification (heating) of forestry and agricultural residues, municipal waste and coal. By allowing the use of all these available low cost, non-food resources, such a process both overcomes the "Food versus Fuel" issues associated with traditional ethanol production, and circumvents many of the challenges associated with 'second generation' biofuels. Furthermore, capturing the large volume of CO (destined to become CO2 once released into the atmosphere) emitted by industry for fuel and chemical production provides a net reduction in fossil carbon emissions.

The Industrial Partner in this project, LanzaTech, have developed a versatile and robust process based on such a 'gas-eating' bacterium, and demonstrated its ability to produce chemicals from the off-gas of a Steel plant. Current products include ethanol, and another alcohol (butanediol) which, unlike ethanol, has potential as a valuable chemical, solvent or polymer. The University of Nottingham has developed world-leading genetic tools which can be used to both enhance the productivity of the current process, and extend the number of products the organism can make. Working together, the Nottingham tools will be used to improve our understanding of how LanzaTech's 'gas-eating' bugs convert carbon monoxide into chemicals. Thereafter, this knowledge will be exploited to both increase the yields of existing products, and extend the range of useful chemicals that can be made.

Technical Summary

Gas fermentation allows low carbon fuels and chemicals to be produced in any industrialized geography without consuming valuable food or land resources. Working with LanzaTech we will use metabolic engineering to both better understand and thence optimise and extend product streams through systems and synthetic biology approaches.

WP1: A Systems Approach to Understanding Alcohol Production (Yr 1-3)
We will: (a) establish and validate procedures for the analysis of the transcriptome, metabolome and key enzyme activities of cell culture samples; (b) investigate the relationships between gene transcription and metabolic products through a series of perturbations studies, in which samples are taken as process conditions are varied from steady state EtOH and 2,3BD production, and; (c) establish a predictive model of EtOH/2,3BD production from gas fermentation and then undertake an iterative process of hypothesis and testing through mutant creation to progressively refine the model.

WP2: Maximising Levels of EtOH and 2,3BD Through Metabolic Engineering (Yr 2-4)
Using knowledge gained, and models generated, in WP1, we will: (a) undertake modeller-led genetic modifications of metabolic pathways to maximise either EtOH or 2,3BD production, and; (b) test and optimise product yields in laboratory-scale gas fermentation (LanzaTech)

WP3: Synthetic Biology Routes to Novel Product Streams (Yr 3-5)
We will: (a) synthesize and assemble component operon parts for production of chemical targets in C. ljungdahlii; (b) optimise the system through iterative hypothesis and testing, and; (c) evaluate and optimise chemical product yields at laboratory scale

WP4: Industrial Biotechnology (Yr 4-5)
Strains will be evaluated by: (a) transfering the most promising clones to LanzaTech for lab scale testing and product extraction; (b) conducting trials of the most promising clones at the LanzaTech Pilot Plant, and; (c) if appropriate, testing at Demonstration scale in Shanghai

Planned Impact

WHO WILL BENEFIT?

The overall aim of this project is to enhance and extend the capabilities of acetogenic bacteria in terms of fuel and chemical production from sustainable resources. As this is an Industrial Partnership, the primary beneficiary other than the University of Nottingham is LanzaTech. They will directly commercialise all useful strains that emerge from the project and will have first refusal on any foreground intellectual property that arises.

Both parties have extensive global networks of commercial contacts and strategic partners. For example, LanzaTech have partnerships in numerous industry sectors including steel making, oil refining and chemical production (see the LanzaTech web site: http://www.lanzatech.co.nz/content/partnerships) including a Joint venture with Baosteel, the world's second largest steel maker. Nottingham have partnerships/ collaborations with EBI, Qteros, Lanxess and Genencor (N America), Evonik, Universities of Munich, Ulm and Berlin (Germany), TMO Renewables Ltd, Invista, Unilever and Green Biologics Ltd (UK), Metabolic Explorer Ltd, INRA and CNRS (France), the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Mumbai Institute of Chemical Technology (India). Working together, LanzaTech and UoN will seek to maximise these links for the benefit of both organisations.

The successful commercialization outputs will have a rapid and global impact for both humanity and the environment. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution, provide an alternative to the use of food or farm resources for the production of low carbon fuels and chemicals. It is therefore of benefit to society, ultimately impacting on health and well-being.

HOW WILL THEY BENEFIT?

Project outcomes will allow improved fermentation process economics, encouraging more rapid and wide spread adoption of gas fermentation to produce low cost, low carbon fuels and chemicals. The partnership are anticipated to directly benefit from the outputs of the project through their commercial adoption. Additionally, the partnership intends to explore strategic licensing deals with third party organisations. These will take the form of up front and milestone payments as well as ongoing royalty streams. The successful scale-up and commercialization of processes will assist the UK, and other national governments in meeting challenging 'greenhouse' gas reduction targets, and contribute indirectly to food security. The generation of chemicals and fuels from waste gases will additionally impact on reducing reliance on fossil reserves, and therefore increase national fuel security.

The use of low carbon fuels to displace petrol reduces localized pollution from transport thus improving public health and in turn national productivity, ie, EtOH petrol blends reduce smog formation. The American Lung Association credits ethanol-blended petrol with reducing smog-forming emissions by 25% since 1990, toxic exhaust emissions by as much as 30%, toxic content by 13% (mass) and 21% (potency), and tailpipe fine particulate matter emissions by 50%.

Our programme is tailored to allow definitive benefits to be realized within the project's timeframe. Thus, the initial target is to improve the productivity of the existing LanzaTech EtOH process, due to begin commercial operation in 2013. Our work should benefit commercial EtOH production by 2014/15. Commercial production of 2,3 Butanediol should be achieved in an equivalent timescale. The production of our other targets will be realized during the latter stages of the project, and be in the demonstration phase by 2017.

The project will provide the opportunity for staff working directly on the project, together with affiliated postgraduate students, to become trained in the strategically important areas of 'Systems' and 'Synthetic' Biology, 'Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy'. These skills will be translatable to many areas outside of acetogens, enhancing future job prospects.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The intended chassis was Clostridium ljungdahlii. The commercial process of our industrial partner, LanzaTech, is based on a derivative (LZ1561) of a closely related species, Clostridium autoethanogenum. It has been selected over several years for optimal gas fermentation performance. At the project's initiation the decision was made to switch to the progenitor of LZ1561, C. autoethanogenum DSM10061, so that our research outputs had a more direct application to industry. This inevitably caused delays, however, all major scientific milestones due during the reporting period have been successfully achieved.

WP1: SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
An early goal was to establish continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) gas fermentation capability. Whilst DSM10061 proved less well adapted to CSTR than LZ1561, this has now been successfully achieved.
The decision to work with C. autoethanogenum meant that a considerable amount of time and manpower was required in the initial stages for the development and adaptation of a variety of tools not previously used with C. autoethanogenum. A number of genetic methods and resources are now in place (Allele-Coupled Exchange and In-Frame deletion, RBS and promoter library construction and inducible orthogonal expression systems) andf others are currently being optimised.
These tools have been deployed to make mutants of the pathways involved in acetate, ethanol and 2,3BD biosynthesis. In parallel, quantitative intracellular measurements of key metabolic intermediates through two LC-MS methods and a GC-MS method have been established. In total, a set of 64 polar metabolites including amino acids, carboxylic acids, sugar phosphates, purines, and pyrimidines can now be quantified.
As an accurate and correctly annotated genome sequence is crucial to modelling, a concerted effort was made to improve and correctly annotate the C. autoethanogenum genome - now published. This facilitated a first genome-scale model (938 reactions, 858 metabolites, 742 GPR associations) which successfully predicts bacterial growth (or no growth) for various experimentally tested feedstocks. We have also established a kinetic model for the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and a Hierarchical modelling that combines the metabolic network with genetic and kinetic regulation.

WP2: METABOLIC ENGINEERING
In addition to the established targeted metabolite analysis approach and metabolomics method, the analysis of metabolic carbon flux in C. autoethanogenum has commenced. 13C- labelled metabolites are used as the sole carbon source for cell growth. The 13C flux analysis provides data for metabolite fluxes which is being used for metabolic modelling.

WP3: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ROUTES TO NOVEL PRODUCT STREAMS
Due to delays in establishment of the CSTR's work began ahead of schedule on WP3, primarily in the area of strain generation. We have developed methodologies for the detection of succinate and isobutanol in addition to the generation of strains containing pathways novel to C. autoethanogenum. We have generated strains containing an isobutanol pathway and 3 with complete glyoxylate cycles where heterologous genes have been integrated from different host organisms. Characterisation of these strains is currently underway as well as fine-tuning of expression systems.
Exploitation Route Our findings will be of relevance to other groups working on acetogens as chassis for the production of chemicals and fuels
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description Two of the greatest challenges facing industry and society are (i) the future sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from non-food resources and (ii) the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. The recent Paris agreement constitutes a major step towards building a low-carbon and climate-resilient world and sends a clear signal to policy makers and businesses to move away from fossil fuels and invest in clean chemical and energy generation. C1-utilising bacteria represent the ideal platform for sustainable non-food products and processes to support the UK and EU goal of a circular economy by potentially re-cycling low cost, waste carbon into the chemicals and materials industry needs. Every year Europeans generate more than two billions of tonnes of waste, which not only causes environmental problems but also represents an economic loss. Carbon recycling directly reduces GHG emissions by reducing the quantity of fossil resources that must be extracted and refined. Thus, in order to have just a 50% chance of avoiding a 2°C average global temperature rise, a third of the world's oil reserves, half of its gas reserves and over 80 per cent of current coal reserves should remain unused from 2010 to 2050.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Chemicals,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description BBSRC Brazil Partnership Award: Accelerating Synthetic Biology Approaches to Renewable Chemicals and Fuels
Amount £51,021 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M027740/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2019
 
Description BBSRC CHINA Partneship Award - Utilising Steel Mill 'Off-Gas' for Chemical Commodity Production using Synthetic Biology
Amount £31,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L01081X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2014 
End 12/2018
 
Description BBSRC IB Catalyst Round 3 - Feasibility: "Engineering Bacteria to Convert Methane to Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA)" with CHAIN Biotechnology
Amount £124,471 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N010701/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description BBSRC NIBB C1net Proof of Concept
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2017
 
Description BBSRC NIBB POC (C1net): Maximising reaction productivity through protein scaffolding with cohesion-dockerin domains
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description BBSRC NIBB POC (C1net): Novel aerobic chassis for the conversion of mixed CO/CO2 feedstocks
Amount £49,998 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description BBSRC Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB) - C1NET: CHEMICALS FROM C1 GAS
Amount £1,827,564 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L013800/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 02/2014 
End 02/2019
 
Description BBSRC sLoLa DTA
Amount £288,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2014
 
Description BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC)
Amount £14,300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L013940/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2019
 
Description ERA-IB6: C02CHEM: Biological Conversion of CO2 to the Platform Chemical 3-Hydroxypropanoic Acid
Amount € 781,416 (EUR)
Funding ID BB/M025896/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 03/2015 
End 02/2018
 
Description GASCHEM sLoLa Industrial component (LanzaTech)
Amount £519,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/K00283X1 
Organisation LanzaTech 
Sector Private
Country United States of America
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2018
 
Description NIBB POC (C1net): A proteomic approach to optimizing gas fermentation in industrially relevant acetogens
Amount £60,780 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2015 
End 06/2015
 
Description 'Science in the Park' organised by the British Science Association Nottinghamshire 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths across the UK. In honour of all things science, the organisers hosted a free Science in the Park event, which members of our team took part in. They had exhibits, activities and demonstrations from across the science spectrum and to suit all ages.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBC East Midlands TODAY TV Broadcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Prof Nigel Minton interviewed by BBC East Midlands today, to raise public awareness of biofuels and C1Net gas fermentation work and the subsidies issue in the UK. Around 325,000 view East Midlands today.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description BBC World Service Radio Interview on C1 Gas Fermentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BBC World Service radio 'Science in Action' C1net PI Nigel Minton being interviewed by Roland Pease that his report on the C1Net gas fermentation work and the subsidies issue.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsnb
 
Description Big Bang Science Fair - Participation on BBSRC stand 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Exhibitor at the Big Bang Fair on the Biofuels stand funded by the BBSRC (13-16 March). Here, we engaged with young people (8 -19 years) on the subject of biofuels. This was undertaken in the form of simple multiple choice quizzes and crosswords for participants as well as role play games for older people. Along with stimulating discussions, these simple games encouraged people to think about the issues surrounding the research and use of biofuels.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Pint of Science Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public talk as part of the Pint of Science, Nottingham Programme. PhD student gave a talk on ' Gas Eating Microbes to the Rescue!' work on microbes that eat carbon monoxide to provide energy and carbon. This not only reflects the biochemistry of how life has started 4 billion years ago but is used to make biofuel from industrial waste gas, turning waste into valuable products. As microbes they are very much hidden to our eyes and due to their special energy needs, were for a very long time hidden to us scientist and have only fairly recently been discovered
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/events/nottingham
 
Description Press Release - Scientist calls for industrial scale-up of greenhouse gas-eating microbe technology in UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A press release to highlight the recent reportt, commissioned by Professor Minton's BBSRC-funded network of gas fermentation specialists C1net, and to emphasize that the UK should do more to increase the production of this new technology which could capture a large percentage of industrial waste gas from our factories and landfill.

The full report can be found here:

http://www.c1net.co.uk/documentation/Opportunities%20for%20gas%20fermentation%20in%20the%20UK%20-%20Final%20Report%20-%20July%202016.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2017/february/scientist-calls-for-industrial-scale-u...
 
Description Pub PhD - Public Talk Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 10 minute talk and 20 minutes Q&A session, included questions about first and second generation biofuels, genetic modification, how deleting genes can improve an bacterium, economy of the biofuel problems, Lanzatech and other companies, the genetics of the organism and other questions about the bacteria and research undertaken at UoN.

Some of the audience were enthusiastically discussing it afterwards and are likely to discuss this with friends and family. The speaker received very positive thank you messages from the organisers and people attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://pubhd.wordpress.com/
 
Description Pub PhD - Public engagement talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact SBRC and GASCHEM PhD Student Florence Annan gave a talk on 'Her PhD involves trying to trick bacteria into making as much jet fuel as possible out of some greenhouse gases and feeding them as little as she can. She does this by messing around with their genetics.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public debate regarding synthetic biology and responsible research and innovation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public debate regarding synthetic biology and responsible research and innovation as part of the ESRC's Festival of Social Science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SBRC & C1net - Outreach Activity - Student Placement, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Student Placement aged 16 from a local school has spent one week working with PhD students in the GasChem Lab. The Student was given an insight into Mathematical Modelling as well as the opportunity to work in the lab. Feedback from the student was excellent. He would like to come back again next year for another placement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SBRC & C1net Outreach Activity - Cambridge HE Getaways, Visit to The University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Outreach event organised by UoN Widening Participation group for Yr 10s within the Cambridge area to enhance their choice on coming to study at University. DNA extraction from strawberries PhD students explained how and why they got into science. Another PhD student gave a presentation on his PhD work and how and why he got into science also ran a practical called 'design your own plasmid'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SBRC & C1net Outreach Activity at British Science Association's Science in the Park, Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science in the Park is a local event ran by the Nottinghamshire Branch of the British Science Association for members of the public. Activities on Making bacteria from Plasticine, make your own bioreactor and c1 gases using molymods. Raise awareness of the SBRC and public engagement. Over ~500 attendees from families, schools, public other academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://nottsbsa.org/science-in-the-park-2015/
 
Description SBRC & C1net Outreach Activity, European Student Parliament, Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This Europe wide project is coordinated by Wissenschaft im Dialog and funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation and Bayer Science & Education Foundation with aim of promoting scientific exchange between young people. It involves 17 local parliaments across the breadth of Europe from Cork to Jerusalem, with one at Nottingham!! In these parliaments, students between the ages of 16 to 19 will have the chance to discuss issues and questions on the overall topic "The Future of the Human Being". SBRC and C1net members Klaus Winzer, Bart Pander and Brigitte Nerlich became "expert witnesses" Nottingham's local "European Student Parliament" answering questions on synbio so the pupils could build their arguments ready for the final event in Manchester in July 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.student-parliaments.eu/
 
Description SBRC&C1net Public Lecture, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact SBRC and C1net PhD students gave a public lecture on 'How to make Jet Fuel (and other useful things) from Greenhouse Gases'. This also involved informing the public about the research taking place in the SBRC. There was a Q&A following the talk which sparked questions and discussion. Around 70 people attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School visit to Ripon Grammar School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 20 minute talk and presentation about PhD Student, Florence Annan's, research and what it is like to be a PHD student and 10 minute talk that there are alternatives (if you are good at biology at school) to studying medicine. 20 minute discussion afterwards where the students could ask questions, some about my research, some about the process of research and some about what studying biology at university was like.

After the talk, the school expressed an interest in Florence returning to talk to students about different things in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School visit to Roundhill Primary school Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact For the science week (17th till the 20th of March 2014) of the Roundhill Primary school Nottingham, PhD student, Bart Pander, gave a 20 minute lecture about the history and future of life and microbiology and our own research on gas fermenting Clostridia. The 460 children listening ranged from 4-12 year old. Afterwards there was a group of 25 interested children who were allowed to ask questions for 25 more minutes. These ranged from the origin of life, bacteria of dinosaurs, to whether it was true that the Netherlands was below the sea.

It was a fun experience for Bart Pander and according to the teachers, the kids liked it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/national-science-engineering-week
 
Description Science in the Park 2016 - Science Fair 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science in the Park is a local event ran by the Nottinghamshire Branch of the British Science Association for members of the public. The SBRC and C1net had a activity stand with the following activities: Making bacteria from plasticene, make your own bioreactor and molymods. The scientists helping out also explained to older children and adults the research taking place at the SBRC and what they are trying to achieve. Over 7000 people from the regional area attended this science fair.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://nottsbsa.org/science-in-the-park-2016/
 
Description University of Nottingham Mayfest 2013: The good, the bad and the beautiful. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many members of the public were interested in our Clostridia Research Group activities and engaged us in conversation, sometimes on wider issues in science. Lots of participants were amazed at the amount of knowledge they already had about biofuels.

Raised awareness of the issues surrounding the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description University of Nottingham Mayfest 2014: The good, the bad and the beautiful. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Parents and pupils were shown examples of the work that BBSRC-funded professional scientists do.

Pupils left the open day with a positive impression of careers in science; members of the public were engaged in discussions involving core BBSRC themes of bioenergy and food security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description University of Nottingham Mayfest 2015. The good, the bad and the beautiful 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many members of the public were invited to take part in a number of activities designed to encourage them to think about a number of different scientific scenarios related to Clostridium research, including health, beauty and industrial application.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Virtual School visit to Grammar school, Leeuwarden (the Netherlands) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 20-2-2014 the 4th year of the Gymnasium (Dutch Grammar school) of Leeuwarden, Friesland, in the Netherlands had 45 minute video chat with PhD student, Bart Pander. We used the google hangout software and a Samsung gaIaxy tablet.
Bart gave them a tour of the lab and explained them the research we do and some techniques we use. This took about 25 minutes. The rest of the time was Q&A. The questions were varying from more personal matter to more philosophical and scientific.

This way of outreach has some advantages over outreach where you go to a school. You can show the workings of a normal lab and the researchers and you can do it with people everywhere in the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Visiting schools as part of the Brilliant Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Members of our team went into schools to promote science and bring academic expertise to underrepresented groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description article in local newspaper Nottingham Post "New centre will lead green fuel research" 31st January 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact article in local press

promotion of research and public awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.nottinghampost.com/New-centre-lead-green-fuel-research/story-20536214-detail/story.html