Advanced Water Management Centre

AWMC Seminar Program: Igor Vassilev

Electrifying bacteria turning CO2 to biofuels and bioplastic precursors

Abstract: The production of many chemicals is often not a sustainable process, as it is based on non-renewable fossil fuels. Therefore, research into finding sustainable alternative production processes is critical. Igor’s talk focuses on microbial-electrochemical conversion of the greenhouse gas CO2 into industrially relevant chemicals using a novel emerging biotechnology: Microbial Electrosynthesis. This technology allows the supply of renewable electric energy (e.g., from photovoltaic) to specific microbial communities. These supercharged microbes are then able to use the electric energy as a power source to transform CO2 emissions into valuable biofuels. In that way Igor was able to produce for the first time isobutyric acid from CO2, an important industrial building block for the production of Plexiglas (transparent thermoplastic). Additionally, he achieved the highest production of butanol from CO2, an important biofuel. Therefore, Igor’s technology demonstrates great potential being a sustainable future-application for production of chemicals and biofuels from CO2.

Event Details
Date & Time: 
Friday, 11 August 2017
9am - 10am
Venue: AIBN Building 75, Level 1 Seminar Room

Event Contact: awmcseminars@awmc.uq.edu.au