The project is pursuing an approach in which greenhouse gases are bound with microbial biomass, such as algae. The carbon dioxide and methane from these gases are converted into sugar chains, which could then serve as the basis for the production of plastic building blocks or feed proteins.
The specific goal is the development and scaling of HLM-based bioreactor prototypes with porous membranes made of recycled plastic, which enable a sustainable circular economy and provide solutions to the major future challenges our society is currently facing: food and feed insecurity, increasing plastic pollution and the climate change. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this technology could not only reduce environmental pollution from plastics, but also produce sustainable and value-added animal feed. The research results could therefore help in the achievement of several relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
dr Rohan Karande, scientific director of the project, hopes to present a pilot-scale prototype in three to four years.
REPLACER is one of the projects selected from 82 submitted proposals in the M-ERA.NET call 2022 on “Functional Materials”. The focus is on achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and the EU Commission's action plan for the circular economy. Projects are funded whose approach enables the development of advanced, resource-efficient technologies for a circular economy.
The REPLACER project is funded by the Bioactive Matter Research and Transfer Center (b-ACTMatter) of the University of Leipzig. In addition to the project coordinator Dr. Rohan Karande will lead the project through Prof. Frank Cichos, Dr. Susanne Ebitsch, Prof. Oskar Hallatschek and Prof. Tilo Pompe. Other Saxon cooperation partners are the Leibniz Institute for Surface Technology (IOM) and the material technology company qCOAT GmbH. At the European level, partners from the University of Latvia and Holisun SRL, Romania, are involved in the consortium.