Professor Gregory Stephanopoulos
PI at MIT
Professor Eric Alm
PI at MIT
Professor Jorge Rodriguez
PI at Masdar Institute
The research aims to develop model-based strategies to engineer natural anaerobic fermentative microbial ecosystems such that their activity can be directed towards low-cost production of valuable chemicals/biofuels (such as acetate, hydrogen, alcohols) from organic residues.
To achieve this, a combination of (i) comprehensive metabolic and thermodynamic modelling of the fermentation system (using the expertise at Rodríguez's Lab in Masdar Institute); (ii) detailed high resolution microbial community characterisation in terms of diversity and ecological interactions (by means high throughput techniques pioneered at Alm's Lab in MIT) and (iii) metabolic flux analysis and isotope labelling (techniques pioneered at Stephanopoulos' Lab at MIT), will be applied.
The research will directly impact the areas of clean energy production (Bioenergy) and Water and Environment (Water and Wastewater Treatment & Waste Minimization and Utilization). The simultaneous treatment of organic residues and their valorization in the form of valuable chemicals or biofuels by microbial bioprocesses has the potential to greatly benefit Abu Dhabi at various levels including industry and academia as well as contributing to building local technological capacity.