Our Goal

The overall goal of The Carbon Recycling Network is to create a vibrant community of UK researchers who will unravel the biological, chemical and process engineering aspects of carbon recycling that support the re-use and exploitation of single carbon (C1) greenhouse gases, CO, (CO2 and CH4).

The focus is on gas fermentation, primarily using chemoautotrophs, and seeks to explore the potential of anaerobic digestion (AD) as a gas fermentation feedstock generator.


To achieve our goal we are:

  • Bringing together a UK-based cadre of biologists, chemists, computational modellers/mathematicians and process engineers, to better understand and exploit gas fermentation processes for translation into industry.
  • Encouraging participation by feedstock suppliers, technology developers, industry and end-users in the development of the technology.
  • Holding a series of sandpits for the discussion and development of cross-disciplinary research projects, including proof of concept studies, to be funded through pump priming funds administered through the Management Board.
  • Fostering the development of major integrated grant proposals based on proof of concept studies.
  • Organising annual meetings of the leading scientists from the UK, including overseas representatives, open to the wider UK community, providing an update on the latest research findings.
  • Maintaining this website to provide regular updates and case studies on the research development.
  • Supporting and encouraging participation and development of the PDRAs and students and providing knowledge transfer through workshops and other training activities.


The Carbon Recycling Network provides a number of events and activities to foster and enhance collaboration between industry and academia; inform policy makers; train the next generation of scientists and educate the general public.


2021, “The Carbon Recycling Network response to the biomass strategy call for evidence”

Download submission

2018, “Opportunities of Methane Fermentation for the UK Bioeconomy”.

Download full report

2017, along with BioCatnet, P2P and CBMnet, C1net commissioned a report entitled “Developing Strategy for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the UK”.

Download summary report

Download full report


2016, we commissioned a report form E4Tech entitled “The commercial and strategic opportunity offered by gas fermentation in the UK”.

Download full report




We will hold regular workshops to provide training for PDRAs and PhD students in key enabling technologies, especially areas such as Gene Technologies, Gas Fermentation and Metabolic Modelling. Additional workshops will cater for emerging areas of importance.

View our Workshop events

Annual Meetings

We will hold annual meetings, to showcase The Carbon Recycling Network’s activities and invite selected international experts to inform on the global perspective.

View our Annual Meetings


We have developed community links, especially to schools through institution specific open days and tailored school visits. Drawing on Synthetic Biology Research Centre – Nottingham experience, we have maximised impact through engagement with events such as the “Big Bang Science Fair”, “Science in the Park”, University Community Open Days and “New Scientist Live”. We have also helped to educate and inform policy makers as well as fostering relationships with key stakeholders who can assist in developing and promoting the network’s activities and outputs.

Together with the University of Nottingham, we have developed an outreach game “Game of Fuels”

Learn more about our Outreach


We will support and encourage the participation by, and development of, the PDRAs and students of members, through participation at sandpit events and the planned annual conferences. In addition, we will encourage young researcher-led joint funding awards between partner laboratories.


Members receive a quarterly newsletter to learn more about our events, awards and funding opportunities.

Read our latest Newsletter: December 2021

Read all newsletters

Project Leads


Nigel P Minton – The Carbon Recycling Network Director

Photo of Nigel MinotonNigel Minton has an international reputation for excellence in advanced molecular methods for the study and exploitation of microbial chassis. He is the Director of the BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) which is focussed on making chemicals and fuels from C1 feedstocks. His research activity ranges from combating bacterial pathogens, through the development of novel cancer therapies to the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from C1, C3 and C5/C6 feedstocks. He is the PI on a wide range of grants awards, funded by the BBSRC (sLoLa, IB Catalyst & iCASE), Innovate_UK, MRC, NIH and Europe (HORIZON 2020, Marie Curie ETN, ERA-IB and ERA-CoBioTech). He has served on many national committees, is regularly invited to speak at international conferences and has filed 21 patents. He has supervised >40 PhD students, published >150 articles (ca.10000 citations) and has an Scopus h-index of 48. He is the holder of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

The Executive Group

Consisting of the Director and Co-Is, the Executive Group will manage the award of Flexible Funding.

  • Nigel Minton, University of Nottingham (Director)
  • Sonia Heaven, University of Southampton
  • Mark Poolman, Oxford Brookes University
  • Saul Purton, University College London
  • William Zimmerman, University of Sheffield

Management Board

Led by Professor Nigel Minton, our Management Board comprises of the Co-Is, Network Manager and leaders in the field from industry and academia. The Management Board will steer on the strategic direction and oversee the Flexible Fund allocations

Ian Archer

Dr Ian Archer joined IBioIC as Technical Director in August 2015. Ian is tasked with shaping the IBioIC’s strategy and implanting the business plan for the centre. Specifically, he identifies mechanisms, resources, and techniques for solving industry problems through biotechnology. He is an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.

Geoff Bryant

Geoff Bryant is the  Chief Technical Officer at Calysta based in Teesside.  He oversees global product development, engineering and innovation activities and the delivery of the world’s first Feedkind (Single cell protein) production facility built by Calysseo, Calysta’s 50/50 joint venture with Adisseo in China. Geoff holds Ph.D and BSc degrees in Chemistry from The University of East Anglia.

Reuben Carr

Reuben Carr is Bioprocess Team Leader at Ingenza, a worldwide leader in the application of IB and synthetic biology. Ingenza provides efficient scalable bioprocesses to manufacture chemicals, biologics pharmaceutical and biofuels, from sustainable sources.


Sonia Heaven

Professor Sonia Heaven is based at The Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, she is also the director of EBnet also a BBSRC Phase II NIBB. Sonia will oversee of research and developments that aim to improve the biomethanisation process and integration of biogas into scalable gas fermentation processes.

Klaas J. Hellingwerf

Klaas received his master degree in Chemistry from the University of Groningen in 1975, with specializations in biochemistry and microbiology, and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam on “The structure/function relationship of bacteriorhodopsin liposomes” in 1979. His research focuses on the molecular basis of signal transduction and the ensuing physiological responses in micro-organisms. Light-activated signal transduction pathways play a roll-model function in his research, because they allow unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution of this process. Part of the insight obtained in this research is applied in a project aimed at producing biofuel, which led to setting up the spin-off company ‘Photanol BV’ in 2008. As of August 15th, 2015, he is Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, but continues scientific activities as CSO of Photanol BV.

Mark Poolman

Mark is a Senior Research Fellow, Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University. His role in CCnet is to oversee systems approaches to chassis development and organise and run genome scale, metabolic modelling workshops and other NIBBs – data Management.

Stephen Poulston

Stephen Poulston is a research scientist and Team leader at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, a corporate research centre for Jonhson Matthey. Johnson Matthey is a world leader in catalysts and process technology for the production and conversion of methane and syn-gas.

Saul Purton

Saul is Professor of Algal Biotechnology at University College London. His research focusses on the genetic engineering of photosynthetic microorganisms (microalgae and cyanobacteria) for the production of novel products including vaccines, anti-microbials and bioactive metabolites. He is also Director of the partner NIBB, Algae-UK.

Sean Simpson

Sean Simpson is the Chief Scientific Officer and Cofounder of LanzaTech, the market leader in the commercialization of gas fermentation technology using steel mill off-gas for the production of low-carbon fuels that do not compromise food or land resources.


Kris Wadrop

Kris currently works as the Platform Director for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining at CPI. He has a BEng Hons in Chemical and Process Engineering from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Kris is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE), chartered after 5 years post graduation, appointed to Fellow after 16 years of advancing the Art of Chemical Engineering and contributing to the UK industrial landscape.

Tithira Wimalasena

Tithira is a Senior Manager at Corbion responsible for fermentation activities within the R&D Sustainable Food Solutions. Corbion’s sustainable food solutions division focus on expertise in fermentation and other processes to deliver sustainable solutions for the preservation of food and food production. Tithira has more than 20 years extensive experience in bioprocess development both in C1 and general fermentation systems in large scale to produce food and feed grade products.


William Zimmerman

Professor William Zimmerman, is based at The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield and is the Founder of Perlemax Ltd. William is responsible for chemical engineering and process development for the envisaged scalable processes, and oversight of improvements to reactor design.


The Carbon Recycling Network aims to pass on our expertise to a wider community through activities such as public talks, lab visits, school presentations, workshops, exhibitions and networking events.

Together with the BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre – Nottingham, we have developed an outreach game, called ‘GAME OF FUELS’ Click the link below to find out more:




Carbon Recycling Member gives a talk at U3A

Published on 17/06/21 in Outreach

On Wednesday 16th June, Carbon Recycling Network Member and PhD student François Seys gave a 50 minute talk to a U3A (University of the Third Age) audience.

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The Carbon Recycling Network & SBRC-Nottingham at the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity 2021

Published on 05/02/21 in News Outreach

8 – 17 February 2021

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Science in the Park 2020

Published on 23/03/20 in Outreach

Wollaton Park, on Saturday 7th March 2020

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The Carbon Recycling Network at New Scientist Live 2019

Published on 18/11/19 in News Outreach

CCnet hosts an outreach exhibition stand in London

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Network Member takes part in ‘I’m a Scientist get me out of here’!

Published on 23/08/19 in Outreach

Online event that brings together scientists based in the UK with students

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The Carbon Recycling Network at WONDER 2019

Published on 04/07/19 in Outreach


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C1net at FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) 2017

Published on 04/07/18 in Outreach

School children from around the East Midlands aged 9 up to A-Level (Aged 18) attended the event.

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C1net Renewable Energy Workshop 2017 – Paulet High School

Published on 04/07/18 in Outreach

As part of the school’s renewable energy topic we ran two sessions of “Game of Fuels” to Years 7 and 8.

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C1net members present at Nottingham’s Pint of Science 2017

Published on 04/07/18 in Outreach

Pint of Science is an international science festival which takes place annually throughout the UK and other countries.

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C1net at Wonder 2017

Published on 03/07/18 in Outreach

On Saturday 17th June 2017, The University of Nottingham hosted its own Community Open Day

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Become a member of The Carbon Recycling Network: Converting waste derived GHG into chemicals, fuels and animal feed

  • Network with biological, chemical, mathematics and process engineering specialists.
  • Apply for funding and gain critical mass in your field.
  • Gain access to useful resources and documentation.
Join the community