Alan West and Scott Banta have a means of producing fuels and chemicals from dilute CO2 and electricity. The process eliminates the need for crop-derived feedstocks, is scalable, and may allow a means of monetizing excess, intermittent electrical capacity. While the long-term market may be fuels, in the intermediate term we will focus on more valuable chemicals, with a goal of partnering to develop a large pilot facility. The short term focus will be on establishing a “minimal viable product,” which is a small-scale process integrating the key steps and containing a robust strain of the organism.
This team recently received a $500K award from the DOE to work with a mining partner to investigate the value of the technology for biomining. The team also received a $150K NSF Phase 1 STTR award in December 2016.