Using microorganisms to transform industrial produced CO2 to valuable hydrocarbons

CO2Hy-OÖ: A joint project to evaluate the green potential of Upper Austria’s industry

Not only since the last arousing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, scientists as well as concerned citizens are fighting to establish a rethinking of the world’s climate policy. The undeniably global climate change has left marks all over the planet, e.g. by an increase of the number and extent of tremendous forest fires, by the loss of more and more sea ice, or by a higher number of intense heat waves. To oppose this trend, the countries of the European Union agreed on aiming to be climate-neutral by 2050, i.e. having an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. An important part of this aim is to reduce or even stop the net industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.

The joined project CO2Hy-OÖ (project partner: Energieinstitut) aims to evaluate the current progress of Power-to-X (PtX)-technologies for the business location Upper Austria according to the state’s motto #uppervision2030. We want to analyse which key products (e.g., formic acid or methanol) or biofuels (e.g., biobutanol) could be produced by using local industrial exhaust gas together with green hydrogen (H2). Our research group (Dr. Ruth-Sophie Taubner, DI Sara Zwirtmayr, and Prof. Dr. Christian Paulik) will focus on the application of microorganisms for that purpose.