Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Techn. Biowissenschaften
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Bio-ABC: development of a two-step biological CO2-fixing process for the production of fuel chemicals


Wir bitten um Verständnis, dass die Informationen über dieses Projekt derzeit nur in englischer Sprache verfügbar sind.

Problem statement and project goal: 

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise due to the world´s fast fossil-based economic development promoting manmade climate change. However, use of excess CO2 for the development of bio-based production systems can also be considered an opportunity.

This project aims to utilize CO2 from industrial sources as an alternative carbon source in a two-step process. In the first step, a microorganism with the natural capability to grow on CO2 as the sole source of carbon and H2 as the sole source of energy will be used. During this first step, a metabolite is produced which acts as an intermediate between the two steps. In the second step, this intermediate will be used as a substrate for a metabolically engineered bacterium. The recombinant strain has the capability to (i) generate the metabolite of interest (i. e. a fuel or bulk chemical) and (ii) reutilize CO2 to reduce emissions from the second ste. To support performance in both steps, the use of food and industrial residual streams will be evaluated.

To that end, the focus of the project is (i) process development for both steps and (ii) development of a recombinant production host for the second step.



Quantitative bioprocess development as employed by our group for many different applications will be used to develop processes for both steps individually and for optimal combination of both steps.

Advanced process analytics (e. g. FTIR, capacitance, IC, HPLC) will be used to generate reliable data which allow for the generation of process knowledge.

State-of-the-art molecular biology techniques (Golden Gate cloning, CRISPR/Cas) will be applied for the development of the recombinant bacterium used in the second step of the process cascade.


This project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as part of the programme “Production of the Future”.


Dr. nat. techn. Stefan Pflügl

Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Christoph Herwig