FURI | Spring 2023

Closing the Carbon Balance on a CO2-Fixing Membrane Bioreactor

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Engineered Escherichia coli strains optimized for malate and succinate fermentation have the capacity to fix significant amounts of CO2. To overcome conventional mass transfer limitations, our research team is exploring the alternative delivery of CO2 to bioreactors via hollow-fiber membranes. A bioreactor is a reactor that sustains and supports life for cells and tissue cultures. Currently, however, although rates of CO2 delivery have been characterized, losses via off-gassing remain unknown. Accounting for this is critical for quantifying rates of CO2 removal and the efficiency of delivery. My project seeks to address this gap and close the carbon balance through the development and implementation of an off-gas sensor for real-time monitoring of CO2 losses from the novel bioreactor.

Student researcher

Bennett Thompson Fisher

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024