Tokyo-headquartered Kaneka Corporation is leading a Japanese Green Innovation Fund project aimed at the development of polymer synthesis technology by microorganisms, using CO2 as the direct raw material.
In partnership with fellow Japanese companies Bacchus Bio innovation, JGC Holdings and Shimadzu Corporation, a gas fermentation biofoundry for CO2 will be established for the development and improvement of biopolymer-producing microorganisms.
Kaneka’s Green Planet biodegradable polymer is already produced by microorganisms from vegetable oil and other raw materials and the company now aims to produce it directly from CO2, based on the synthetic microbiology and polymer production processing technologies it has cultivated to date.
The company will then launch a semi-commercial plant to demonstrate the potential of industrialisation.
Bacchus, a data-driven biofoundry company, aims to drastically shorten the breeding time of smart cells by upgrading the platform consolidating its proprietary technologies. By utilising its own digital technology, Bacchus will design cells optimised for gas fermentation and create a variety of species. In addition, it will introduce and utilise data from a high-throughput evaluation system jointly developed with Shimadzu.
JGC HD has leading knowledge of the safe handling of gases including hydrogen gas and process scale-up from the oil and gas fields, as well as in optimised culture tank design technology in the life sciences field. In this project, it will develop and scale-up a safe handling system for mixed gases containing CO2, H2, and O2, and a gas fermentation process.