Increasing our Capacity for Biofuel Production

Energiforsk recently published a report from a project were syngas converted into bioethanol through bacterial fermentation was explored and major advancement was achieved.

To reach the target of a fossil free vehicle fleet by 2020 a broader set of raw materials and technology alternatives are needed to meet demand for renewable fuel. Bacterial syngas fermentation is a radically new concept for producing renewable fuels of high importance to the Swedish energy sector. Gasification allows the conversion of literally any carbon-containing material into syngas.

During this project, a platform for working with acetogens, bacteria that can naturally convert syngas into ethanol and other biochemicals, was set up at the division of Industrial Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology. The long-term aim is to establish a platform where industrial syngas is used as a raw material to provide a stable supply for production of renewable fuel.

The project identified typical gas compositions as well as mapped commonly found impurities that may have an inhibitory effect on the fermenting bacteria. Through this project the team have developed a process that allows the production of ethanol from the CO component in syngas, with similar efficiency as with pure CO. Providing significant advancement towards fermentation of industrial syngas, taking us one step closer towards a fossil free vehicle fleet.

To learn more about this project and its results you can now read the full report available here at Energiforsk.


The project has been financed by EON Gas Sverige AB, Gasnätet Stockholm AB, Göteborg Energi AB, Neste AB and Region Skåne.