A crazy idea that might work...?

Discussion in 'Chez Ziggy' started by Plai, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Posts:
    477
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    This article about LanzaTech turning carbon monoxide (CO) into fuel caught my attention.

    Begin quote...
    "Coming from a company that was focused on using biomass (plants) to make fuels, they thought that it was a better idea to use [something] that had no impact on land or food production." They also wanted to find something that was low cost in large quantities, Burton tells CNBC Make It.

    Simpson and Forster came across an academic paper that showed it was possible for bacteria to consume carbon monoxide and produce ethanol, "so they thought that it could be possible to use this biology at large scale to consume waste emissions," Burton explains.

    While researching gas fermentation processes, Simpson and Foster came across the rabbit gut bacteria at the heart of LanzaTech, clostridium autoethanogenum. They found the bacteria — or "bug," as it's casually referred to in the industry — at a microbial library called DSMZ in Germany.
    End quote...

    Anyone here with a deeper chemistry/biology got a gut feeling about how feasible it would be for mass scale?
     
  2. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    6,281
    Sure, why not; at least they won't have to go looking for exotic catalysts like cobalt and rhodium. It will require input power though, and should be referred to as a P2F system.

    Ethanol from CO has been possible industrially for a long time, but mostly in multi-step reactions that require externally sourced hydrogen gas. Methanol is a lot easier than ethanol - that has been possible since the 1920s.

    Here's another microbial P2F system one can get excited about:

     

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