A microbial production platform for a bio-based economy

Sweden plans to be fossil free by 2050. This requires an economy based on renewable raw materials instead of oil. In an interdisciplinary initiative Chalmers researchers investigate how microbes can help us do the job.

Many fuels, chemicals and materials are currently produced from fossil raw materials such as oil. In order to achieve a sustainable society, production must instead be based on renewable raw materials such as energy crops or residues from forestry and agriculture.

Microbes and enzymes have proved very useful for converting renewable raw materials into useful products in a sustainable way. In order to give the development of production processes a proper boost, Chalmers started the two-year, interdisciplinary project "A Microbial Production Platform for a Bio-based Economy".

Within the project, researchers will develop bio-based production processes and evaluate whether they have the potential to become viable in comparison to fossil-based counterparts. They shall also identify the parameters and process steps that are most important to make the process environmentally friendly and economical.

Chalmers has a significant research tradition in the field of bio-based economy and is equipped with world-leading scientists and infrastructures that enable different types of cultures of microorganisms under well-defined conditions.

“We have access to a large amount of bioreactors in various sizes and sophisticated equipment for analysis and evaluation of various bioprocesses,” says Christer Larsson, project leader and professor of molecular biotechnology.

The project is a joint initiative between two of Chalmers' Areas of Advance – Energy and Life Science Engineering. Thereby, the competence in the initiative is very wide – there is expertise in process design, modeling and evaluation related to economy, sustainability and environmental impact.

Through the project, infrastructure will be developed and made widely available. Various courses, seminars and symposiums will also be organized.

“The idea is to offer a meeting point where different types of competencies that are necessary for developing a biobased economy can meet and where collaborative projects can be started. We also aim to establish collaborations with researchers at other universities and with industry,” says Christer Larsson.

Christer Larsson, christer.larsson@chalmers.se, tel. +46-31-772 38 06

Page manager Published: Wed 03 Feb 2016.