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Integrated Bio-Electrochemical Production of Ethylene through CO2 sequestration (BIO-ELECTRO-ETHYLENE)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Globally, accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in atmosphere from various anthropogenic and natural sources is increasing causing threat of global warming. At the same time, industrial production of various commodity chemicals demanding carbon based raw materials through exploitation of different natural resources of the earth is causing an imbalance in the earth’s ecosystem. Recent research on microbial electrosynthesis has shown the conversion of CO2 into useful organic chemicals. Electrochemically active microbes live on cathode of bioelectrochemical system (BES) under specific electrical potential and are involved in reductive catalysis of CO2 to produce various organic products. The present proposal is focused on the production of ethylene from CO2 which is industrially very important commodity chemical. Two functionally different electroactive cathodic biocatalysts will be developed from the environmental sources. The selective enrichment of the electroactive biofilm forming bacteria with desired biochemical pathway is a challenging task. It can be performed with consolidation of biochemical and electrochemical techniques. First biocathode, which is homoacetogenic (BCHAB) will reduce CO2 to acetate in one BES system and the second biocathode which is ethylene forming bacteria (BCEFB) will reduce acetate to ethylene. The blueprint of the proposal focuses on the novel design of a compact BES system with two cathode chambers connected to a common anode to evaluate the integration of two electrochemical reduction functions simultaneously. The proposed work suggest the possibility of CO2 sequestration to generate ethylene warranting pollution control and global warming in a sustainable approach. The output will be a significant step for ethylene production without generating any secondary pollutants or competing with other raw materials required for the synthesis. Moreover it is stabilizing/reducing CO2 from air establishing an eco-friendly sustainable process.

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