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Research Syngas Platform

Recalcitrant forms of biomass are not ideal for biological conversion into platform chemicals, and therefore our lab is interested in the syngas platform as a pretreatment step to generate synthesis gas (syngas, which consists of mainly carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide). This syngas is efficiently converted by fermentating bacteria, such as Clostridium sp.. We are working within this anaerobic fermentation research area to optimize fermentors and syngas delivery, and upgrade chemicals. Our lab works with Cornell University collaborators, including Johannes Lehmann (PI), to develop a syngas platform to generate biochar and ethanol or n-butanol in Kenya and at the Cornell campus. We have built a pilot-scale slow pyrolysis unit, cracker, and syngas fermentor at the Cornell University campus:

Pilot plant to convert woody biomass into biochar and ethanol (photo by Hanno Richter).

 

Papers in the area of Syngas Fermentation:


Richter H., Martin M. E. and Angenent L. T. (2013). A two-stage continuous fermentation system for conversion of syngas into ethanol. Energies, Vol. 6, No. 8, pp. 3987-4000. [Link to PDF]


Richter H., Loftus S. E. and Angenent L. T. (2013). Integrating syngas fermentation with the carboxylate platform and yeast fermentation to reduce medium cost and improve biofuel productivity. Environmental Technology, Vol. 34, No. 13-14, pp. 1983-1994. [Link to PDF]


Perez J. M., Richter H., Loftus S. E. and Angenent L. T. (2013). Biocatalytic reduction of short-chain carboxylic acids into their corresponding alcohols with syngas fermentation. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol. 110, No. 4, pp. 1066-1077. [Link to PDF]