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
 
Title Meet the Microbiologists - YouTube Video Series 
Description Over the past couple of months, Microbiologists from the Synthetic Biology Research Centre have been working with film makers Brady Haran and James Hennessey (Creators of educational video series such as; Periodic Table of Videos and Numberphile) to produce a set of Microbiology YouTube films about their research and what it's like working in a laboratory. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact We have x6 different videos and now have a combined number of views of 47,500 so far from around the world. We will be looking into a way of evaluating the impact of these videos. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeaKaAcimVK0dt4TOpcyRc5_GB4txb0vf
 
Description Thus far, we have:-
• constructed a predictive C. autoethanogenum genome-scale model, established analytical procedures for 133 metabolites, and developed an automated workflow for GC and reactor data that streamlines data acquisition and analysis;
• undertaken transcriptome, metabolome and proteomic analysis of Controlled Stir Tank Reactor (CSTR) adapted cultures during gas and pH shift experiments;
• performed product analysis on three recombinant base strains, harbouring deletions in the core solventagenic pathways. This has generated data which has enabled refinement of the metabolic models, with a view to elucidating further non-intuitive target genes for modification to redirect carbon flux towards isopropanol;
• demonstrated a robust orthogonal inducible expression system, whereby plasmid based pathways can be constructed in E. coli hosts under repressed conditions, transformed into recombinant strains of C. autoethanogenum, and expressed at levels exceeding our previously strongest promoters through induction with lactose.
• exemplified the basic acetone / isopropanol pathway with the above orthogonal system, with strains producing isopropanol at final concentrations of up to 13 mM following induction under heterotrophic conditions. Furthermore we have demonstrated final concentrations of approximately 2 mM isopropanol when grown under autotrophic conditions.
• also generated isopropanol and acetone pathways which make use of protein scaffolding, whereby intermediate substrates may be funnelled through a multi-enzyme complex with a view to increasing efficiency. These strains are currently being assessed in small scale batch, with preliminary data suggesting an unexpected significant increase in ethanol production over the wild type, with preparation underway to characterise in the CSTRs.
• through the creation of multiple mutants by ClosTron mutagenesis and/or allelic exchange, we have established: a significant correlation between Quorum Sensing and ethanol/2,3-butanediol yields; the functional redundancy of CO dehydrogenase genes; that aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) is critical to ethanol formation; that inactivation of alcohol dehydrogenase leads to enhanced EtOH production, and; overexpression of native chaperone genes also increase EtOH production, by 71%;
• established CRISPR-based gene knock-out technology in C. autoethanogenum and expanded its use to pathogenic clostridia. Multiple CRISPR/ Cas9 mediated in-frame deletion strains (in excess of 20 strains representing various combinations of deletions) have been generated through targeting of bacterial chromosomal DNA present specifically within the gene target, wherein provision of a homologous recombination cassette on the plasmid enables direct selection of double-crossover mutants;
• developed a novel application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in which the gene targeted is replaced with a short 39bp sequence, containing the 5' and 3' ends of the native gene, with a unique synthetic guide target sequence between them. This allows subsequent targeting of the synthetic guide in order to complement the gene knockout at its original locus, restoring the recombinant strain precisely to its wild type configuration at the target locus.
• and established high density transposon libraries as a prelude to implementation of TraDIS and corrected C. autoethanogenum pantethenate auxotrophy to reduce media costs
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 ATUM
Amount £69,000 (GBP)
Organisation DNA2.0 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 10/2017 
End 10/2020
 
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2019
 
Description BIOTEC-05-2017
Amount € 6,986,910 (EUR)
Funding ID 760994-2 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2021
 
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
Start 03/2015 
End 02/2018
 
Description ERACOBIOTECH
Amount € 1,823,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 1,823,000 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2021
 
Description GASCHEM sLoLa Industrial component (LanzaTech)
Amount £519,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/K00283X1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2018
 
Description Health & Life Sciences Round 1
Amount £705,345 (GBP)
Funding ID 83375-536199 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2019
 
Description MRC Confidence in Concept
Amount £94,976 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2019
 
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
Start 01/2015 
End 06/2015
 
Title "CRISPR/CAS9 Variants" 
Description A GB patent application was filed on 02 December 2016 (GB1620551.0) to gain a priority date. Although the invention has significant utility the university elected not to pursue patent protection. The invention provides an efficient and rapid means of creating defined knock-out variants, scar-less homologous recombination and gold-standard complementation at high frequency which was hitherto not possible using existing CRISPR technology. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted
Licensed No
Impact A GB patent application was filed on 02 December 2016 (GB1620551.0) to gain a priority date. Although the invention has significant utility the university elected not to pursue patent protection. The invention provides an efficient and rapid means of creating defined knock-out variants, scar-less homologous recombination and gold-standard complementation at high frequency which was hitherto not possible using existing CRISPR technology.
 
Company Name DEEP BRANCH BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD 
Description DEEP BRANCH technology takes carbon dioxide directly from industrial emissions and transforms it into single cell protein. This nutritious protein source acts as a more sustainable alternative to soy or fishmeal, the conventional protein sources for livestock and aquaculture feed. The Deep Branch Biotechnology co-founders met whilst at the University of Nottingham's Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC). Whilst working together on ways to utilize gas fermentation for production of chemicals, the team discovered they had a shared desire to make a positive impact of the world. Pete and Bart left the SBRC to pursue new challenges in commercial and academic biotech, whilst Rob remained at to continue the work of his PhD. The team kept in touch and when in the summer of 2018 Bart proposed a new twist on how gas fermentation could be used for clean production of single cell protein, Pete and Rob were sold. They were able to go from idea to raising pre-seed funding within four months, and haven't looked back since. DEEP BRANCH biological carbon recycling solution helps companies who want to reduce their carbon footprint without impacting negatively on operational costs. Unlike traditional carbon storage technology that simply collects carbon dioxide, we use it for something meaningful. Our biological process converts the carbon dioxide into sustainable protein, and unlike conventional biological methods, such as algae cultivation, it requires minimal labour and land, and no sunlight. 
Year Established 2018 
Impact n June 2019, Deep Branch Biotechnology and Drax Power Group announced their partnership as part of the BECCUS (BioEnergy Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage) project. Drax are the UK's largest renewable energy producer and the partnership will see Deep Branch utilising carbon dioxide from Drax's flue gas at their renewable energy plant in Yorkshire (UK). Following full lab-scale validation of the Deep Branch Biotechnology process, this partnership represents the first real-world application of the technology. The partnership with Drax offers an opportunity to validate using carbon dioxide that is already generated in a sustainable fashion. Because Drax's biomass units are carbon neutral at the point of generation, the process creates extremely low-carbon protein. This pilot project represents a major step towards roll-out of a with the potential to generate large quantities of sustainable protein. By using this protein as animal feed, production of animal products becomes less environmentally impactful, whilst arable land conventionally used for soy production will be made available for other uses.
Website https://deepbranchbio.com/
 
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 New Scientist Live 2017 Exhibition Stand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact New Scientist Live is a major science public engagement event at the Excel centre in London, which showcased a wide range of UK science innovations, with examples ranging from astronomy to microbiology. The SBRC Nottingham and associated NIBB - C1net hosted a stand with hands on activities showcasing the various stages involved in our research to go from concept to finished product. We started with an interactive computer model of a biochemical pathway, developed by members of the SBRC computational team - which allowed people to decide how they would alter a pathway to produce the required end product. Next was a Don Whitley anaerobic cabinet that people could try, to give them an idea of what working in these cabinets was really like with kids queuing up for this exhibit on the weekend, it was certainly a major draw to the stand. Then there was a microscope showing what these bacteria actually look like, followed by a mini bioreactor to help explain how this process could be scaled up. Finally we had some examples of potential products, such as a model tyre and fuel tank, to demonstrate where the C1 compounds could end up after the bacteria had converted them into useful chemicals.

At the event itself we were helped by many wonderful volunteers, who all demonstrated their enthusiasm and passion for science in their conversations, convincing possible sceptics about the benefits of our research. With over 30,000 visitors attending over the 4 day event, there was certainly plenty of opportunity to reach lots of people. We had interest from a diverse range of backgrounds including; current scientists, potential future Nottingham students, children who we helped inspire with future possibilities and even artists and the media, who could help spread our research message even further. Volunteers included Louise Dynes, Jacque Minton
Michelle Kelly
Pippa Strong
Ruth Cornock
Gareth Little
James Winter
Beth Redfern
Rubab Syeda
Martina Pasini
Loretta Waddon (double)
Christian Arenas

Alan Burbidge
Jess Locker
Alex Grosse-Honebrink
Muhammad Ehsaan
Vanisha Patel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://live.newscientist.com/new-scientist-live-2017
 
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 Pint of Science Talks - Florence Annan and Prof Nerlich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Pint of Science is a non-profit organisation that brings scientists to the local pub to discuss their latest research and findings. Social Scientist - Prof Nerlich gave a talk on 'Who framed synthetic biology? Some reflections on science, language and culture' and SBRC PhD student Florence Annan gave a talk on 'Using bacteria to make jet fuel out of greenhouse gasses. Both talks sparked questions and discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
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 Science in the Park Local Community 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 Nottingham shire Branch of the British Science Association for members of the public. We had a stand we various hands on activities to raise awareness of the centre and our research. Over 400 people were engaged.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
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