Greenhouse gases can be fermented into valuable chemicals
Greenhouse gases can be fermented into valuable chemicals

Project keywords

Systems Biology, Manufacturing, Energy, Sustainability, Aviation fuel, Gas fermentation, Acetogens, Clostridia, Proteomics, Metabolomics, Transcriptomics

Project summary

Greenhouse gases that are currently environmental pollutants can be converted into aviation fuel and other valuable chemicals through bacterial fermentation. Some specialized bacteria, known as acetogens, are capable of fixing CO, CO2 and H2 and naturally convert it into ethanol and acetate. Using systems and synthetic biology we can fundamentally understand the metabolism of these organisms to improve the scope of its products into higher value-added molecules. This project aims to construct the world’s first systems biology platform for actegens to understand and overcome fundamental energy limitations in their metabolism. Achieving this aim will be of direct relevance to the aviation industry in Australia on their path to deliver sustainable jet-fuels.


Marcellin E, Behrendorff JB, Nagaraju S, DeTissera S, Segovia S, Palfreyman RW, Daniell J, Licona-Cassani C, Quek LE, Speight R, Hodson MP, Simpson SD, Mitchell WP, Köpke M, Nielsen LK (2016) Low carbon fuels and commodity chemicals from waste gases – Systematic approach to understand energy metabolism in a model acetogen. Green Chemistry. Accepted 05.01.2016.

Project contacts

Lead investigator Dr Esteban Marcellin, Professor Lars Nielsen
Research group AIBN Systems & Synthetic Biology
Contact email


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