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Electrosynthesis of biofuels from gaseous carbon dioxide catalyzed by microbes: A novel approach/quest of microbe-electrode interactions (ESBCO2)
Start date: Jul 1, 2012, End date: Jun 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"An increase in atmospheric CO2 derived from combustion, the rising prices of crude oil, and the diminishing supply of fossil fuels poses great challenges to worldwide sustainability. Thus, the necessity of developing greenhouse gas mitigation technologies and biobased renewable energy sources is very urgent. Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) exploits the ability of microbes to make electrical contacts with electrodes and other cells and the production of biofuels with such microbial electrosynthesis is of great interest. However, mechanisms by which microorganisms conserve energy to maintain cells and support growth when directly accepting electrons for MES from electrodes is not explored yet. Moreover, information on carbon and electron flow during CO2 reduction to biofuels at a cathode is not yet fully explored. Thus, MES needs to overcome several microbial, electrochemical and technical challenges. This IOF will contribute to the development of a cost effective alternative to current fuel production, using greenhouse gas CO2 (model pollutant) as a feedstock. This IOF will use new concepts dealing with the better understanding of electron (e-) transfer/exchange, surface engineering conductive biofilms, system biology/genomics, genomic tools, nano-networks and novel materials and practical implications of these concepts for environmental clean-up and the development of renewable energy sources.The proposed IOF will provide a tool for the EU Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23rd April 2009 on the promotion of the use of renewable energy, and also falls into the category of EU climate and energy policies, and Europe Horizon 2020 strategy demanding climate and energy targets to be met by 2020 for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This IOF project will a investigate and develop a technology for the conversion of CO2 (greenhouse gas) into biofuels and will play an instrumental role in achieving a healthy environment."
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