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Microbial Factory 3

Sustainable Acetone

Anaerobic Acetobacterium woodii to produce acetone

TRL 5 bioreactor reliant on engineered Acetobacterium woodii (A. woodii) to produce acetone, which is required for the synthesis of polycarbonate plastics from pressurised gas feedstocks, namely H2 from the PEM electrolyzer and concentrated CO2 . Development of this bioreactor will be designed to fulfil ecologically and economically sustainable industrial targets. 

The overall development of the bioreactor will integrate different components:

  • strain development through the usage of a variety of tools available for systems metabolic engineering 
  • engineering of midstream
  • downstream processes.
  • woodii systems metabolic engineering will be carried out by several rounds of optimization  and will employ the concepts and techniques of systems biology, synthetic biology and adaptive laboratory evolution at the system level to account for the following aspects:
  • the extent of toxicity to the bacterium,
  • the existence of any limits
  • the possibility of unknown and non-intuitive pathways or sub-pathways 

The outcome of each round of systems metabolic engineering will be carefully assessed.

Bioreactor engineering will combine process analyses  to capture the host behaviour under bioreactor conditions and provide guidelines for process design and control.