Microbial electrosynthesis – a fundamental investigation of new respiratory pathways

Sammanfattning av doktorandarbetetSoroush_LR
Soroush Saheb Alam

In this project, we investigate microbial electrosynthesis, which is a process where microorganisms accept electrons from a cathode and synthesize a chemical by reducing a soluble electron acceptor. For example, carbon dioxide can be reduced to acetate, methane or other organic chemicals. Currently, very little is known about electrosynthesis functions in microorganisms. We will enrich microbial cultures from environmental samples using a cathode as electron donor and carbon dioxide as electron acceptor and investigate which chemical products they can produce. We will use electrochemical methods to investigate mechanisms of electron transfer and molecular methods to examine the microbial community structure of the enrichment cultures. We will also analyze how various conditions affect the chemical products synthesized by the microorganisms. In the future, microbial electrosynthesis could potentially be used to generate fuels and other chemicals with carbon dioxide and renewable electricity as starting material. In the context of wastewater treatment, the technology could potentially be used to upgrade the carbon dioxide fraction of biogas or to steer fermentation of sludge and wastewater organics into desirable end products.

Projekt titel: Microbial electrosynthesis – a fundamental investigation of new respiratory pathways
Doktorand: Soroush Saheb Alam
Handledare: Oskar Modin
Universitet: Chalmers
Biträdande handledare: Frank Persson, Britt-Marie Wilén, Malte Hermansson
Anställningsplats: Chalmers
Adress: Bygg och miljö, Sven Hultins gata 8 , 412 96 Göteborg
Telefon: 031 772 2138
E-post: Soroush.Sahebalam@chalmers.se
Tidplan: 2013-2018
Tid för Licentiat examen Preliminärt Jan. 2016
Tid för disputation: Preliminärt Maj 2018