IRENE FROM VERDANT BIOPRODUCTS TALKS ABOUT HER SESSION TOPIC AT IBIOIC'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE LATER ON IN JANUARY

There is a lot of carbon dioxide and low grade heat available at industrial sites out there just begging to be used. Micro-organisms are the ideal route to put the two together and make something useful. New routes of bacterial carbon dioxide fixation are regularly being un-covered as well as the end products of their efforts. Photosynthesis is the best known route of carbon dioxide fixation, but photosynthetic bacteria can make whole range of other useful chemicals.

Take ethylene for example, 1.5-3.0 tons of carbon dioxide are generated per ton of ethylene made from fossil fuel. If you switched to using the photosynthetic Synechocystis or Pseudomonas syringae you could use CO2 to make ethylene instead. Acetogenic bacteria can be manipulated to make ethanol.  Some groups have taken the approach of just creating bio-mass to feed other processes. Other groups are using bacteria to make formic acid and iso-butanol (although this apparently requires the application of electrodes – ouch!!).

There is a whole world of chemistry out there to explore. Verdant has managed to combine carbon and nitrogen fixation to create nitrile containing compounds for plastic pre-cursors. It would be great to link up with anyone with an interest in the field to have a chat at the meeting.

Irene Finnegan will be a speaker at our conference in January. If you would like to learn more about Irene and Verdant Bioproducts, please visit here.