Synthesis gas can be formed from a large variety of wastes and can subsequently act as substrate for microbial fermentation processes, bringing the closing of our waste cycle one step closer.
Synthesis gas, or syngas, is a gas mixture consisting primarily of CO, H2 and CO2. Syngas can be formed from any carbohydrate source by gasification, this includes conversion of materials currently inaccessible for biotechnological processes (e.g. plastics, lignin).
An emerging technology is the fermentation of syngas into fatty acids, alcohols, methane or hydrogen using microbial biocatalysts. This technology allows for conversion of a broad spectrum of materials into a spectrum of products, making it an interesting technology for future bio-based economy. By exploring different approaches, such as isolation of novel microorganisms, synthetic co-cultivation and small scale fermentation, biological syngas conversion can be enhanced, and metabolic pathways can be steered towards the production of added-value products.