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Photanol BV (PHO) was founded in 2008 as a spin-off company from the University of Amsterdam to develop the technology for the production of chemical commodities and biofuel from CO2, water and sunlight with the superpower of cyanobacteria to photosynthesize. Photanol optimizes the bacteria to absorb more CO2 and adapts their metabolic pathways to produce a desired chemical. Transforming the bacteria into highly-efficient mini factories that run on sunlight, produce just oxygen as by-product and need radically less land and water than traditional variants. After securing a series of key patents covering its proprietary knowledge in this area, which is based on genetic engineering studies with Synechocystis, this company is now – amongst others via strategic alliances with major chemical companies – developing commercial exploitation of its technology. 

Team role and expertise in the project

PHO major contributions encompass Synechocystis metabolic engineering over the photobioreactor design, construction and testing up to TRL 5, in addition to minor roles system implementation and validation as well as in impact analysis and dissemination activities.

Our people

Aniek Van der Woud
Principal Investigator