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RWE Power and Brain join forces to utilize CO2

By Gerald Ondrey |

To convert carbon dioxide into microbial biomass or biomolecules: such is the goal of a cooperative research agreed between RWE Power AG (Essen; www.rwe.com) and Brain AG (Zwingenberg, both Germany; www.brain-biotech.de). The power-generation firm and the biotech company want to equip microorganisms with new enzymes and explore innovative synthesis routes and pathways. Fluegas, rich in CO2 from a lignite-fired power station, feeds these designer microorganisms. The process creates biomass and industrial products such as new biomaterials, bioplastics and chemical by-products. Possible applications, now being explored, include building and isolation materials and the production of fine and specialty chemicals. An experimental plant is to be located at RWE Power’s Coal Innovation Center, at its Niederaussem power plant site.  Brain, a leader in white biotechnology, has access to hitherto unknown microorganisms. Millions of innovative enzymes and synthesis routes and pathways are at its fingertips. With such a comprehensive “natural toolbox,” the technologies of synthetic biology make it possible to design more effective microorganisms. These, in turn, can provide a source of new product and material developments…
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