Pau Batlle’s research has been recognised with the prize to the best doctoral thesis in technologies for capture, transport, storage and uses of carbon dioxide. The jury valued the scientific impact of his work as well as the potential industrial applications.
Girona, 13th December 2017. The fourth edition of the Spanish CO2 Technological Platform prizes has awarded the research conducted by environmental scientist Pau Batlle, as the best doctoral thesis in technologies for capture, transport, storage and uses of carbon dioxide. The prize, consisting of 3.000€ and a diploma, took place on Tuesday 12th December during the celebration of the General Assembly of the calling entity.
Pau Batlle carried out the work entitled “Bioelectrochemical transformation of carbon dioxide to target compounds through microbial electrosynthesis” under the supervision of LEQUIA researchers Jesús Colprim, Sebastià Puig and Rafael González (currently at IQS-URL). The main goal of his research was to apply bioelectrochemical systems to convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds with high industrial and energetic interest. Thus, research has faced up two of the main environmental challenges of our society: reduce carbon dioxide emissions, on the main greenhouse gases, and explore alternative technologies for the production of biofuels and chemical products non-dependent on fossil resources.
Bioelectrochemical systems studied by Pau Batlle are based on the capacity of certain microorganisms to extract and reduce carbon from CO2 only by using electricity from renewable sources. Results obtained demonstrate that this emerging technology can lead to the production of methane, that can be used as fuel for vehicles or injected into the gas network, and liquid organic compounds of two (acetic acid) and four (butyric acid) carbon atoms; both of them widely consumed by food and pharmaceutical industry and, at the same time, precursors of ethanol and butanol, two powerful biofuels.
The jury has valued the thesis’ scientific impact in terms of published articles, contributions to conferences and stays in other institutions, as well as the technological novelty and the potential industrial applications of the results. Currently, Pau Batlle is researcher at Aqualia, which applies bioelectrochemical systems into the conversion of carbon dioxide to methane within the framework of project Smart Green Gas funded by CDTI.
Photo: Pau Batlle during the awards cerimony