Engineering Microbial Consortium/Combination to Convert CO2/Waste Stream into Useful Chemicals using a Synthetic Biology Approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Chemical & Biological Engineering


This project falls under the umbrella of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), i.e., to turn a greenhouse gas CO2 into a useful feedstock for chemical syntheses. Instead of using a physico-chemical approach to capture CO2 and to transform CO2 into useful chemicals using metal-based catalysts, the project capitalizes on the natural ability of biological systems in carbon capture, carbon concentration and carbon utilization. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the biotechnological potentials of acetogens and related bacterial strains in biological CCU. In addition to mono-culture, the project also explores the use of microbial consortium or two microorganisms in sequential fermentation.

In this project, the student will (1) develop molecular tools for engineering the aforementioned microbial strains, (2) apply metabolic engineering/directed evolution/synthetic biology to tailor/fine-tune the properties of these microorganisms for chemical production, and (3) design industrial processes utilizing these microorganisms and evaluate the techno-economics of biological CCU.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/R506035/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1956818 Studentship BB/R506035/1 25/09/2017 24/09/2021 Robert Berchtold
Description CRODA Studentship Poster Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Poster session with other postgraduate students presenting their individual projects to CRODA staff including executives and the CEO. Discussion of projects and connections between projects made - valuable questions asked by memebers of CRODA staff and decisions over the future of the project influenced.

Increased awareness of enzymatic processes amongst high level chemical industry staff - specifically as a possibility of replacing high energy and wasteful traditional chemical industry processes .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019