Chemical and Biological Engineering Fall 2018 Seminar – Steve Brown

Join the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering for a fall seminar on Wednesday, October 10 from 3:15–4:30 p.m. in Perlstein Hall Auditorium. Steve Brown, Ph.D. will deliver a lecture titled “Gas fermentation: Waste to value at commercial scale.”

LanzaTech has developed a fully integrated platform for commercial-scale production of fuels and chemicals from sustainable biomass and waste feedstocks. At the heart of the process is an acetogenic microbe Clostridium autoethanogenum capable of autotrophic growth on a range of low cost C1 substrates such as carbon monoxide (CO) and/or CO2. LanzaTech has developed a highly efficient platform strain using adaptive laboratory evolution.

Around this chassis, the company has developed an advanced strain engineering platform. LanzaTech has been able to overcome the challenges associated working with acetogens and developed a range of tools including a comprehensive genetic toolbox comprising including advanced gene editing methods, an extensive library of genetic parts and participates in the Clostridia Foundry for Biosystems Design that employs cell-free protein synthesis technologies to rapidly prototype new pathway designs. To complement these efforts, the company has developed a large metabolic knowledgebase, design algorithms and metabolic and process models. These models are highly integrated and validated against growth, metabolomics and transcriptomics data across hundreds of fermentation runs and strains. Using this platform, production of over 50 new molecules has been demonstrated directly from a diverse range of feedstock options including waste gases from industrial sources (e.g., steel mills and processing plants) or syngas generated from biomass resources (e.g., agricultural waste, municipal solid waste). The process has been successfully scaled up from the laboratory bench scale through pilot and demo plants and is currently being deployed at commercial scale.