13 Feb 2018
Kick-off meeting of ENGICOIN, a European project for the production of value-added compounds from CO2

The ENGICOIN project (Engineered microbial factories for CO2 exploitation in an integrated waste treatment platform) was launched on January, 22nd 2018 at Brussels (Belgium) by representatives of the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), the coordinating site of this new project from the EU Horizon 2020 program.

The Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) participates in this project which is granted with € 7 million. Work on this project at the CIB will be directed by Dr. Auxiliadora Prieto, Head of the Polymer Biotechnology Group and Dr. Eduardo Díaz, Head of the Environmental Microbiology Group, both at the Department of Microbial and Plant Biotechnology. The ENGICOIN project is a collaboration between 5 academic and 7 industrial partners from 7 european countries (Austria (1), Belgium (1), Italy (4), Spain (2), Sweden (1), The Netherlands (2) and United Kingdom (1)).

The ENGICOIN proposal aims at the development of three new microbial factories (MFs), integrated in an organic waste anaerobic digestion (AD) platform, based on engineered strains exploiting CO2 sources and renewable solar radiation or H2 for the production of value-added chemicals, namely: MF.1) the cyanobacteria Synechocystis to produce lactic acid from either biogas combustion flue gases or pure and costless CO2 streams from biogas-to-biomethane purification; MF.2) the aerobic and toxic metal tolerant Ralstonia eutropha to produce PHA bioplastics from biogas combustion flue gases and complementary carbon sources derived from the AD digestate; and MF.3) the anaerobic Acetobacterium woodii to produce acetone from the CO2 stream from biogas-to-biomethane purification.

The innovative production processes to be developed will have a great exploitation potential in other application contexts: flue gases from different combustion appliances (e.g., cement kilns), alcoholic fermentation CO2 streams (e.g., lignocelluosic biorefineries, breweries), etc.

The central goal of ENGICOIN is to stem atmospheric carbon emissions by recycling CO2 through biotransformation into value-added products such as lactic acid, PHA and acetone. In this sense, ENGICOIN will support the EU´s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 2020.


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