CO2-based Chemicals Production using Industrial Biotechnology

A BIO-TIC business case workshop about the use of CO2 for chemicals production using Industrial Biotechnology, 24th September 2014 at CPE Lyon - Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon

Background

CO2 is increasingly being considered by many as a commodity rather than a waste product. The largest current use for CO2 is currently in enhanced oil recovery. However, CO2 holds great potential as a feedstock for chemicals production using IB processes, especially in the EU where the research base is strong and where there is an abundance of CO2 available.  CO2 is not part of the food chain so avoids any issues over food v fuel. However, public perception, and logistical and cost challenges in terms of CO2 transport and distribution could hamper the potential of CO2 to be used for chemicals and substantial R&D is needed to bring many opportunities to fruition.

The BIO-TIC project has organised this workshop with the aim to identify technological, non-technological and market hurdles for the uptake of industrial biotechnology in CO2 based chemicals production and develop recommendations and solutions to overcome the identified hurdles.

The workshop will explore the role of IB in:

  • Direct production of chemicals through the transformation of CO2
  • “Artificial leaves”, using CO2, water, sunlight and a (semiconductor) catalyst to produce  glucose as a feedstock for Industrial Biotechnological processes to produce chemicals

Input from market, policy and technological experts is crucial to help us develop recommendations which best answer the needs of industry and further build on the roadmaps.

To help kick off the discussions and in order to collect stakeholders' thoughts on the hurdles within this sector and ideas for possible solutions, BIO-TIC has put together a summary of the findings related to CO2-based chemicals at the mid-way stage of the project. You may download the summary here.

The “CO2-based chemicals business case” workshop will precede the “Large-volume CO2 Utilization: Enabling Technologies for Energy and Resource Efficiency”, which takes place in Lyon, France on 25-26 September, 2014.  Register at http://co2forum.cpe.fr/.

The BIO-TIC project

BIO-TIC is a three year project, funded by the European Commission, aiming to identify the hurdles to Industrial Biotechnology (IB) and to develop solutions to overcome them, thereby unlocking the massive potential for this key technology in Europe.

The project focuses on five product groups which have significant potential for Europe and which have the potential to introduce cross cutting technology ideas. These product groups are:

  • Bio-based chemical building blocks
  • Bio-based plastics (PHA and PLA)
  • Biosurfactants
  • Advanced biofuels
  • CO2 based chemicals

Roadmaps for developing the IB sector in Europe, with a special focus on the opportunities above, will be delivered by summer 2015. We are developing three in depth bio-roadmaps focussing on market potential, R&D priorities and non-technological (regulatory and policy) hurdles to IB innovation. The market roadmap will provide market projections to 2030. The technological roadmap will focus on setting R&D priorities and identifying needs for pilot and demonstration activities and the non-technological issues roadmap will identify the regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit IB innovation from new markets.

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