The US Department of Energy is supporting a Kiverdi-led project to develop microbial biocatalysts to convert syngas into monoterpenes.
Syngas feedstocks are relatively inexpensive and diverse, and thermophiles have several unique advantages; Meanwhile, end products have value as fuel and solvent applications among others. The diversity of feedstocks available to syngas processes (including waste) together with the continuous fermentation potential of thermophiles makes the economics of producing monoterpenes in this bioprocess highly competitive and flexible in dynamic fuel and solvent markets
The project will engineer novel metabolic capabilities into thermophilic bacteria that use hydrogen for metabolic energy and CO2 and CO as carbon sources to produce monoterpenes useful as solvents and fuels.
Kiverdi’s Steven M. Yannone prepared this illuminating overview of the project’s promise and progress, as presented at the DOE Project Peer Review meetings.