The SYNTOBU project (“Biological production of butanol from syngas”) starts

On 1st September started the SYNTOBU project, which aims at studying the production of butanol from syngas through the action of microorganisms. The project is funded under a VII FP Marie Curie action “Career Integration Grant” (CIG). 


The Fischer-Tropsch process, which allows the conversion of carbon monoxide and hydrogen to liquid hydrocarbons, is a catalytic process developed in 1925 in Germany and very well-known among organic chemists. Recently, the process has attracted again the interest of scientific community worldwide. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process can be applied to convert organic waste into biofuels, and thus face some of the challenges of current global energy consumption increase. Although well established, the process is complex and has a high energy cost. For this reason, different alternatives are currently being explored; some of them based on microorganisms as catalysers.


This is the starting point of the SYNTOBU project (“Biological production of buthanol from syngas”), which investigates the production of butanol from syngas, a mix of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced from gasification. Syngas produced from biomass or urban solid wastes contains also impurities, which can cause the inactivation of the chemical. The main advantages of microorganisms compared to chemical catalysers are its high tolerance and adaptability to syngas impurities, and a low operational cost. The project will characterise the process both kinetically and stoichiometrically and identify optimal operational conditions, as well as investigate the production of butanol in continuous mode under different bio-reactor configurations.


The SYNTOBU project, which started in September 2013, is being funded through a Marie Curie action “Career Integration Grant” (CIG) from the VII Framework Programme and will be developed during the next 4 years by Dr. Ramon Ganigué, a post-doctoral researcher from LEQUIA. The responsible principal investigator in the research group is Dr. Jesús Colprim.


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Laboratory of Chemical and Enviromental Engineering

Institut de Medi Ambient
Universitat de Girona
Campus Montilivi
17003 Girona

Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la UdG
Edifici Jaume Casademont, Porta B
Pic de Peguera, 15
17003 Girona
Tel. +34 972 41 98 59




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