"Biopolymers from Syngas Fermentation"

SYNPOL  -  Biopolymers from Syngas Fermentation 

A Collaborative project of the 7th EU RTD Framework Programme

The basic idea  

of the SYNPOL project is the establishment of an integrated processing technology for the efficient synthesis of cost-effective commercial new biopolymers using the products derived from fermentation of SYNGAS generated from very complex feedstocks.

R&D activities will be focused on the integration of innovative physico-chemical, biochemical, downstream and synthetic technologies to produce a wide range of new biopolymers, based on a number of novel and mutually synergistic production methods, and including an assessment on the environmental benefits and drawbacks related to the concept.  

The SYNPOL platform allows the treatment and recycling of biological- and chemical-derived wastes and raw materials in a single integrated process.



Figure: The SYNPOL platform.





The main goals of the SYNPOL project will include: 


1. Optimize syngas production from different feedstocks by using new gasification technologies.


2. Characterize syngas generated from feedstocks via a combination of state-of-the art techniques.


3. Analyse energy costs required to generate syngas from different feedstocks.


4. Enhance naturally occurring pathways of acetogenic bacteria by metabolic engineering supported by systems biology tools with the aim of generating by syngas fermentation large amounts of intermediates that can be used as building blocks for the synthesis of new biopolymers.


5. Design new metabolic pathways by using systems biology tools to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates in acetogenic bacteria.


6. Enhance naturally occurring pathways of purple bacteria by metabolic engineering, again supported by systems biology to generate by syngas fermentation large amounts of polyhydroxyalkanoates.


7. Design transferable genetic systems to confer the ability to metabolize CO to other bacteria under aerobic conditions.


8. Design new recombinant bacteria endowed with programmed autolytic systems to facilitate the downstream processing of biopolymers.


9. Establish a cost-effective consolidated syngas fermentation technology using the natural and recombinant microorganisms by improving the operational conditions.


10. Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge to consolidate an efficient downstream processing, to decrease energy inputs, reduce environmental impacts, increase purification efficiency and diminish the final cost of the products.


11. Develop cost effective technologies for the chemical synthesis of new biopolymers based on the “green” building blocks and the polyhydroxyalkanoates produced by syngas fermentation, utilizing state-of-the art of chemical processes.


12. Develop blend, plasticizer, and composite formulations based on a PHA matrix using fermented and waste stream products.


13. Reduce the environmental impact of the integrated SYNPOL technology by recycling the residues.


14. Demonstrate the chemical and organic recyclability of the developed biopolymers.


15. Develop life cycle and environmental impact analyses as a valuable tool to provide technical and economic advances in the development of environmental friendly biopolymers.


16. Plant production design, scale-up and optimization of consolidated SYNPOL technology targeting on the increase of the products yield, improving the overall production economics as well as the upscaling capabilities.


17. Establish portfolios for the exploitation of the process and the products derived from SYNPOL project.


18. Disseminate the scientific knowledge acquired during SYNPOL project to the society by developing multiple training and diffusion activities.