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Environmental impacts and limitations of third-generation biobutanol: Life cycle assessment of n-butanol produced by genetically engineered cyanobacteria
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH). KTH, Centres, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Protein Science, Systems Biology. KTH, Centres, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4207-0547
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8101-8928
KTH, Centres, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Protein Science, Systems Biology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1899-7649
2020 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 24, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Photosynthetic cyanobacteria have attracted interest as production organisms for third-generation biofuels, where sunlight and CO2 are used by microbes directly to synthesize fuel molecules. A particularly suitable biofuel is n-butanol, and there have been several laboratory reports of genetically engineered photosynthetic cyanobacteria capable of synthesizing and secreting n-butanol. This work evaluates the environmental impacts and cumulative energy demand (CED) of cyanobacteria-produced n-butanol through a cradle-to-grave consequential life cycle assessment (LCA). A hypothetical production plant in northern Sweden (area 1 ha, producing 5-85 m(3) n-butanol per year) was considered, and a range of cultivation formats and cellular productivity scenarios assessed. Depending on the scenario, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) ranged from 16.9 to 58.6 gCO(2)eq/MJ(BuOH) and the CED from 3.8 to 13 MJ/MJ(BuOH). Only with the assumption of a nearby paper mill to supply waste sources for heat and CO2 was the sustainability requirement of at least 60% GHGe savings compared to fossil fuels reached, though placement in northern Sweden reduced energy needed for reactor cooling. A high CED in all scenarios shows that significant metabolic engineering is necessary, such as a carbon partitioning of >90% to n-butanol, as well as improved light utilization, to begin to displace fossil fuels or even first- and second-generation bioethanol.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2020. Vol. 24, no 1
Keywords [en]
biofuel, butanol, cyanobacteria, industrial ecology, LCA, metabolic engineering
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-269016DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12843ISI: 000512553700011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85063694033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-269016DiVA, id: diva2:1416173
Funder
Science for Life Laboratory - a national resource center for high-throughput molecular bioscience
Note

QC 20200322

Available from: 2020-03-22 Created: 2020-03-22 Last updated: 2020-03-22Bibliographically approved

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Shabestary, KiyanBrandao, MiguelHudson, Elton P.

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Nilsson, AstridShabestary, KiyanBrandao, MiguelHudson, Elton P.
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School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH)Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLabSystems BiologySustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering
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Journal of Industrial Ecology
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