ESR 5Bio-succinic production from TPB-2nd phase biogas and AD-biorefinery residues

Host – Technical University of Denmark

Succinic acid (SA) is commonly produced from petrochemicals. When SA is produced via fermentation, CO2 is consumed. The unique process developed by DTU integrates biogas upgrading with SA based-fermentation, whereby gaseous CO2 provided from biogas and carbohydrates will be provided directly from pressed grass/seaweed are converted into two products: bio-methane (CH4>95%) and bio-SA (green building block). Additionally, ensiled grass/seaweed produced by TPB’s 3rd phase reactor will be used as alternative carbohydrate source for bio-succinic acid production.

Initially based at DTU under the supervision of Prof. Irini Angelidaki and Dr. Merlin Alvarado-Morales, the suitable candidate will:

  • Develop and validate at lab-scale, an efficient conversion process to produce bio-SA from gaseous CO2-rich streams and sugar-rich hydrolysates (produced from pressed grass and seaweed), using Actinobacillus succinogenes 130Z as the fermentative organism,
  • Screen for a more robust and stable industrial organism which will be more suited to the needs of the TPB,
  • Perform microbial strain improvements whereby a novel process technology and novel CO2 supply system for enhancing conversion efficiencies of the fermentation-based processes, will be implemented and tested at lab-scale,
  • Go to Avecom (Belgium) for a secondment under the supervision of Prof. Verstraete, to learn about their manufacturing and production practices whereby insights into their applicability to the bio-SA bio-methane production processes can be obtained.

ESR 5 will hold a Master level degree in a discipline with a strong focus on:

  • Process/Chemical/Biochemical Engineering,
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Microbial Kinetics
  • Excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (CEFR Level C1)