IBiolC Annual Conference Glasgow, 25-26 January 2018 attended by C1net sponsored speaker Christophe Mihalcea, LanzaTech
The conference attendance was about 450 people with exhibitors; mainly manufacturers of fermentation equipment presenting their newest equipment. My contribution was in the C1net sponsored C1 fermentation session, which included presentations by Frederick de Bruyn (Bio Base Europe pilot plant) and Joanne Neary (CPI) and Charles Abbas (University of Illinois) and Urbana Champaign. Conclusions were that the gas fermentation process has the potential to be a “disrupting, and game changing” technology but drawbacks included reactor issues the fact that methanotroph or methylotroph processes are just targeting biomass but not fuels and chemicals. The biology associated with gas fermentation was accepted to be working at today’s stage for ethanol and biomass production at large scale but the engineering part was seen by other speakers as the critical component where innovative new solutions are still needed to address scale-up.
In this context, I was presenting on the LanzaTech process technology with a “working” bioreactor and the expansions from ethanol to new products such as acetone and isopropanol. Our first commercial project being in the final stage of construction. Questions were collected in the background throughout the session and presented at the end. My presentation was received very well as the majority of interest was addressed primarily to LanzaTech’s reactor technology. One question was related to the classification of microbes, whether or not they are considered to be GRAS and further related to their potential pathogeny. The main tenor was “gas fermentation is transforming the biotechnology market” and will be a fast expanding sector in years to come.