Engineered Bacteria Convert Captured Carbon Dioxide Into Valuable Chemicals for Fuels, Fabric, and Cosmetics

Good News Notes:

Engineered Bacteria Upcycle Carbon Waste Into Valuable Chemicals

Bacteria are known for breaking down lactose to make yogurt and sugar to make beer. Now researchers led by Not only does this new gas fermentation process remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, but it also avoids using fossil fuels, which are typically needed to generate acetone and IPA. After performing life-cycle analysis, the team found the carbon-negative platform could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 160% as compared to conventional processes, if widely adopted.

The study will be published today (February 21, 2022) in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

“The accelerating climate crisis, combined with rapid population growth, pose some of the most urgent challenges to humankind, all linked to the unabated release and accumulation of COacross the entire biosphere,” said Northwestern’s Michael Jewett, co-senior author of the study. “By harnessing our capacity to partner with biology to make what is needed, where and when it is needed, on a sustainable and renewable basis, we can begin to take advantage of the available COto transform the bioeconomy.”

Jewett is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and director of the Center for Synthetic Biology. He co-led the study with Michael Koepke and Ching Leang, both researchers at LanzaTech….”

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