Grant recipient

Silvan Scheller

Microbial generation of ethane from carbon dioxide and hydrogen (ETHANOGENESIS)
Grant amount: DKK 9,994,366

ETHANOGENESIS is a microbiological process to synthesize ethane sustainably from CO2 and hydrogen. Ethane can be liquefied at room temperature and utilized as a renewable ship fuel, for energy storage, or as a chemical feedstock. My lead research objective is to change the primary metabolism of methanogens to produce ethane instead of methane. Ethane is formed via acetyl-coenzyme A and ethyl-coenzyme M as the intermediates, in a way that allows the microbes sustain life. As a first step, ethane is produced as a secondary metabolite concomitant with methanogenesis. After modifying the way of ATP generation, methanogenesis will be stopped to obtain ethane as the sole product. Fundamental research is carried out to assess the potential of enzymes thought to be exclusive for C1 substrates towards catalyzing multi-carbon substrates. My research accesses the methanogen-specific pathway of CO2-fixation for the biocatalytic production of multi-carbon fuels and chemicals from unwanted CO2.

Silvan Scheller
PhD and Assistant Professor, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Aalto University